Increased security measures for election procedures

Election 2017 in NorwayElection 2017 in Norway.Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

– Our election administration system is well tested and secure. We wish, however, to avoid any speculation or uncertainty pertaining to the election results.


Security and trust are vital for the conduct of elections. We are therefore augmenting security measures, says Minister of Local Government and Modernisation Jan Tore Sanner.

The Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation now asks that all municipalities complete at least one manual count of the votes in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Security measures for computer systems and ICT services will also be enhanced.

The Norwegian National Security Authority (NSM) and the Police Security Service (PST), in cooperation with the Norwegian Directorate of Elections, have continuously undertaken risk and vulnerability assessments in connection with the upcoming parliamentary election.

There are no indications that anyone has attempted to affect the conduct of the election in any way. There is, however, increasing activity and attention, both domestically and internationally, around some of the technical solutions in place. This is in and of itself a source of elevated risk.

– Security and trust are vital to the conduct of elections. We shall not be naïve, nor allow for any uncertainty around the security of Norwegian elections.

The voters will rest assured that the election results are accurate. After new threat assessments undertaken in collaboration with the NSM and PST, we have decided to initiate additional security measures, says Sanner.

New regulations require municipalities to manually count ballots in the preliminary counting of votes. Procedures for the approximately half of municipalities that already count ballots manually will, in practice, be unaffected. For the other municipalities, the new regulations will entail extra work.

In Norway, most of the work associated with the conduct of elections takes place at the municipal level. In order to ensure accurate counts, all votes are counted by both the municipality and its respective county.

The physical ballots are stored after the count, allowing for the possibility of a recount should there be any doubt as to the accuracy of the original count.

In preparation for the election, the Norwegian Directorate of Elections has collaborated closely with the PST and NSM to prevent any potential incidents, initiate additional security measures, and undertake election test-runs.

The Norwegian Directorate of Elections will make some technical adjustments and changes to routines already in place in order to further augment security.
– The Norwegian Directorate of Elections will continue to work closely with the municipalities and counties, and offer guidance and support in the days leading up to the election, says Director Bjørn Berg in the directorate.


Source: / Norway Today