European Standards for Innovative Electoral Services

What are considered “innovative services in electoral processes”? How to regulate them? What are the european standards applicable?

These issues and relative experiences were discussed at the 7th annual meeting of electoral management bodies from Europe, Asia and the Americas, organised by the Georgian Electoral Commission in cooperation with Venice Commission last February.

Find out more in the report I presented at the Conference VENICE COMM_Driza Maurer 20170227 Borjomi

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New Technologies: Inescapable but Challenging

Keynote at the 1st Scientific Electoral Experts Debates

New technologies challenge the way the Parliament, the Government, the judge and the voter think of and deal with elections. The following paper presents an overview of the main preoccupations of the e-voting legislator in the recent past in Switzerland, an early but cautious adopter of internet voting. It shows how political stance on e-voting evolved over the years.

This was a contribution at the First Scientific Electoral Experts Debates – a new Forum – coorganized by the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) of the Council of Europe and the Romanian Electoral Authority in Bucharest (12-13 April 2016). The meeting discussed “Electoral Law and New Technologies: Legal Challenges”. The proceedings are now published online. They include a number of presentations from practitioners and scholars throughout Europe.

Download the paper

See also “Legality, Separation of Powers, Stability of Electoral Law: the Impact of New Voting Technologies” paper

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Update of the Council of Europe Recommendation on legal, operational and technical standards for e-voting – A Legal Perspective

The Council of Europe 2004 Recommendation on e-voting (Rec(2004)11) is a soft law instrument containing legal, operational and technical standards for e-voting. An ad-hoc Committee of Experts on E-voting (CAHVE) started work on its update in 2015. This paper focuses on the place of Rec(2004)11 in the regulatory framework for e-voting as well as on issues related to its update. We discuss the main results of the first phase of the update and some specific legal questions related to the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in elections. The main challenge for such an instrument is to fully and correctly translate broader principles of the European Electoral Heritage into standards and requirements for e-voting that remain pertinent as technology evolves. Continue reading

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VoteID 2015

A short report by Richard Hill*

The 2015 VoteID conference took place from 2-4 September 2015 in Bern, Switzerland. The conference featured presentations of peer-reviewed papers covering a variety of inter-disciplinary topics related to e-voting, such as a legal challenge to a specific system; security analyses of several specific systems; analysis of the characteristics of Internet voters in several actual votes; and research papers on advanced verification and related techniques. In addition to these papers, invited speakers presented papers on Internet voting in Switzerland; security analysis of the Estonian system; the actual use of Internet voting in Switzerland; and the use of verifiable voting in Victoria, Australia. A half-day session was also devoted to hands-on demonstration of several e-voting systems. Continue reading

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OSCE/ODIHR to assess the Swiss legal framework for Internet voting

On 13 July OSCE/ODIHR published a Needs Assessement Mission report (NAM) on the upcoming Swiss federal elections of 18 October 2015 (National Council Elections). The report recommends the deployment of an Election Expert Team to specifically assess the legal framework for Internet voting.

According to the experts the revised legal framework for Internet voting and its implementation could benefit from a more in-depth assessment, particularly in light of the authorities’ stated intention to extend its usage in future federal elections. Continue reading

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E-Voting Case Law: A Comparative Analysis

Pleased to inform that “E-Voting Case Law: A Comparative Analysis” is due to appear in September 2015. More information can be found on the publishing house’s website. Special discounts may apply. Let me know if you’re interested in purchasing the book.

E-Voting-Case-LawReviews: ‘If e-voting is the future, we need a path to it. There is no single route, however, with cost, reliability and the voting experience to be juggled. This collection draws together expert insights from across the globe, as a rich resource for those navigating the way.’
Graeme Orr, University of Queensland, Australia, and author of Ritual and Rhythm in Electoral Systems

‘This is a significant contribution to the debates about electronic voting that are taking place in democracies across the world. Decision-makers seeking to balance key electoral principles – accessibility, security, trust, transparency, cost – must also understand the fundamental legal issues; and this book provides a fine overview.’
Peter Wardle, The Electoral Commission, UK Continue reading

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New Book: E-Voting Case Law

I dedicated quite some time last year to coordinating and writing a book on e-voting. Co-edited by Jordi Barrat and myself, “E-Voting Case Law: A Comparative Analysis” is a collective book on e-voting legislation and case law in thirteen countries over five continents. I am thrilled to inform that the book will be published in September 2015. The book will appear in the series Election Law, Politics and Theory. Continue reading

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The 6th International Conference on Electronic Voting EVOTE2014 was held on 28–31 October 2014 in Lochau/Bregenz, Austria. The conference – which celebrates its tenth anniversary – is one of the leading international events for e-voting. It was attended by experts from all over the world. Its objective is to provide a forum for interdisciplinary and open discussion of all issues relating to electronic voting. The theme this year was “Verifying the vote”. The proceedings of the conference are online. Continue reading

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Switzerland’s new legislation on internet voting

Established practices, new rules and future perspectives

Last Sunday, 9 February 2014, is going to stay in Swiss voting history as the day when voters decided to put an end to the free movement of persons with the European Union (EU) thus provoking the reassessment of all bilateral agreements between Switzerland and the EU. Continue reading

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Voting and technology in 2013, a retrospective

Time line of major developments in Switzerland and beyond

For a start, I wish you, dear reader, a happy and successful year! This first 2014 post will look back into 2013 which was exceptionally rich in developments related to political rights and technology in Switzerland, Europe and beyond. Let’s review its main realizations, promises, challenges and setbacks. Will that unveil what lies ahead…? Stay tuned and enjoy the reading! Continue reading

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