Threats to Swedish public elections - Examples and scenarios for the Election Administration


  • Sebastian Bay
  • Patrik Thunholm
  • Elsa Isaksson
  • Johannes Lindgren
  • Jessica Appelgren

Publish date: 2022-05-30

Report number: FOI-R--5298--SE

Pages: 56

Written in: Swedish


  • Electoral authority
  • general elections
  • electoral influence
  • antagonistic threats
  • scenarios


The Swedish electoral system is decentralized with manual voting and counting, which makes it robust. Nevertheless, there are threats to the election system - not only limited to the conduct of the general elections but also the public's trust in the election system and the willingness of voters to cast their votes. Antagonistic threats in the context of general elections can take many different forms and have to be handled by the general elections security and protection infrastructure. In order to illustrate possible threats in Sweden, this report presents security incidents from previous elections. They are organized according to the following categories: threats to staff, threats to premises and property; threats to the election results; cyber-attacks and misinformation; and information influencing. Furthermore, six scenarios are presented. The scenarios are constructed of different building blocks. This report can be used for training purposes and to inform security assessments on possible threats to general elections. The report can also be used to increase the election administration's awareness of threats and increase the ability to prevent, identify and manage threats to the integrity of the general election. The report's main audience is selection officials and security staff at all levels; i.e. national, municipality and regions.