Trust in Internet Election: Observing the Norwegian Decryption and Counting Ceremony

Randi Markussen, Lorena Ronquillo, Carsten Schürmann

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


This paper discusses the Decryption and Counting Ceremony held in conjunction with the internet voting trial on election day in the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development of Norway in 2013. We examine the organizers' ambition of making the decryption and counting of electronic votes public in order to sustain trust in internet voting. We introduce a pragmatic approach to trust that emphasises the
inseparability of truth from witnessing it. Based on this and on a description of how the event was made observable and how the complexities in the counting process were disclosed, we discuss what we term economy of truth from the perspective of the IT community involved in the ceremony. We claim that broadening the economy of truth by including more explicitly social and political perspectives in the ceremony, and in internet elections in general, and how witnessing is brought about, would make a more solid case for understanding how democracy is transformed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication6th International Conference on Electronic Voting (EVOTE), TUT Press, October 2014. (jcg: 26/11/14)
EditorsRobert Krimmer, Melanie Volkamer
Number of pages8
Publication dateOct 2014
ISBN (Print)978-9949-23-688-6
ISBN (Electronic)978-9949-23-685-5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


  • Internet Voting
  • Decryption Ceremony
  • Trust in Electronic Voting
  • Economy of Truth
  • Observability in Voting


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