Latvia's voting system is old – and therefore safe, says STRATCOMCOE chief

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In a March 6 interview with the Diena newspaper, Janis Sarts, the head of the Riga-based NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence (StratComCOE), said that in comparison with attempts to hack into digital voting systems in the United States, France, the Netherlands and Ukraine, nothing like this can happen in Latvia due to the old-fashioned nature of the country's voting system.

According to him, this is a positive factor. ''For example, Norway went back to a manual vote counting system. However, the most important is to understand the risks and carry out preventative measures,'' Sarts said.

He said that the public must understand that there remain risks on attempts to influence the upcoming Saeima elections in Latvia. Sarts said that the media and non-governmental organizations will also play a huge role, as there is little trust in political parties in the country.

''That is why there must be someone who says it like it is and calls out attempts to influence the elections,'' Sarts believes.

Latvia's parliamentary election takes place October 6, 2018.

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