Estonia Will Be the First Country to Elect Politicians Using Mobile Phones

Instant democracy is getting closer. In 2011, Estonians will be able to elect their representatives using cellphones. How would it work and, more importantly, will it actually work?

Raul Kaidro, who is the spokesman of the SK Certification Center in Estonia, says that it will be easy and secure: The voters will just need to previously obtain a free authorized chip. This chip will have an encrypted digital signature, which will allow them to identify themselves and vote using a text message.

The mobile voting will not be the only way to vote: It will be an additional method to online and on-site voting, all of them connected to a central database for instant identification and registration of the vote.

While some think digital voting will open a can of worms, it seems that this is not going to be the case. An independent security audit has certified that the process—which Sweden and Finland would eventually use as well—is completely secure and tamper-proof. In addition to that, their previous experience with online voting in 2007—which also used digital ID cards—was a success.

On the other side, if there is one thing history has shown to us is the fact that there's no 100% secure system... but then again, look at what happens in the US with on-site machines. In other words, if someone wants to do something illegal, they would do it now—with on-site voting—and in the future—with online or mobile voting. I prefer the convenience of the later. [AP]