Has internet voting increased participation?

Evaluating the impact of internet voting

The regular use of internet voting in the past ten years in canton Geneva (Switzerland) offers an interesting basis to evaluate the impact of this voting channel on electoral participation. This is also the aim of a recent study undertaken by the cantonal Commission for the evaluation of public policies and the University of Geneva* Continue reading

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Quid novi Juris?

Swiss Internet Voting Legislation and Jurisprudence – actual state

One of the most significant novelties announced to take place in 2013 is already there: a proposed modification of section 6a of the federal ordinance on political rights regulating internet voting has been published Continue reading

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Talking about transparency?

Publication of Audit Reports of Geneva Internet Voting System

Switzerland. For the first time audit reports of an internet voting system are made entirely available online. The Geneva internet voting system was submitted to three tests in 2012: intrusion test, source code analysis and ISO 9001 evaluation. The results have been made public in accordance with cantonal regulation. Continue reading

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Exercise your voting rights

May 1st: UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Disabled freedom of the webElectronic Voting, be it on electronic machines used in polling stations or be it distant Internet voting from a personal computer, is often considered to be a useful tool for disabled people because it might ease vote casting. At the same time, and somewhat more paradoxically, there are concerns about electronic voting user-friendliness with respect to the needs of non-disabled people. Actually both points of view are necessary and they underline the fact that accessibility and usability must be key issues to be considered when developing a voting solution. Continue reading

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Cantonal elections

Counting of (internet) voting results postponed

English: Aerial view of Neuchâtel and Lake Neu...Canton Neuchâtel had quite a special election today. For the first time in Switzerland a general election of a cantonal parliament was held with internet voting as a third voting channel. Internet voting is one of the online services proposed by the web portal of Neuchâtel cantonal authorities Guichetunique.ch. Another première with respect to internet voting was the fact that the system had to handle two different kinds of political elections (initially) scheduled to take place at the same time: in addition to parliamentary elections, the cantonal government was also to be elected on 14 April. Continue reading

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Expérience cantonale de vote par Internet

Rapport zurichois

Districts in the Canton of Zurich

La votation fédérale du 3 mars 2013 fût l’occasion pour quelques 152’000 électeurs dans onze cantons de voter par internet. Quelques jours après le Conseil fédéral autorisait 12 cantons à faire du vote par internet lors de la prochaine votation fédérale du 9 juin 2013[i]. Le 14 avril prochain tout électeur inscrit au Guichet Unique pourra voter par internet pour élire le Grand Conseil et le Conseil d’Etat neuchâtelois – ce sera la première utilisation généralisée[ii] du vote par internet pour renouveler intégralement le parlement et l’exécutif cantonal. Ces exemples récents montrent la normalisation de l’utilisation du vote par internet en Suisse depuis les premiers tests organisés en 2004. Continue reading

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Future of Voting Systems

Exploring trends in voting system technology

A two and a half days Symposium on the Future of Voting Systems is taking place in Maryland (USA). The event is webcast live and related conversation can be followed on twitter at #FOV13. The conference is organized by the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to explore emerging trends in voting system technology. The use of technology in elections is at the heart of discussions. Continue reading

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Welcome author Jordi Barrat!

Jordi BarratI am pleased to announce that Jordi Barrat, professor of constitutional law at the Rovira i Virgili University (Spain) and renowned specialist of e-voting joins electoralpractice.

Jordi is the author of several studies on the compliance of e-voting systems with legal instruments, namely the Recommendation of the Council of Europe Rec(2004)11 and has extensive experience with e-voting systems in Europe and Latin America. Recent work includes a collaboration with IFES to evaluate the internet voting system used in Norway. More about Jordi’s activities and publications can be found here: cv_barrat.

I am thrilled to welcome Jordi on electoralpractice and look forward to his contributions which will shed light on the legal dimension of the use of ICT in electoral practice. Welcome Jordi!

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International regulation of e-voting

The Council of Europe’s Recomendation Rec2004(11): a brief recapitulation

The Recommendation Rec(2004)11 of the Council of Europe on legal, operational and technical standards on e-voting already has almost a decade of life. Its broad scope encompasses both internet voting procedures and local voting machines. Although e-voting mechanisms are still depicted as modern and innovative solutions, it would be better to assume that we are dealing with a mature technology that has been implemented in several countries since at least the nineties. Belgium or Netherlands started using it in that decade, the 1995 Catalan elections included an e-voting pilot as the first Spanish experience, and France uses voting machines since 2003. Obviously each country may provide its own successful or negative experience (e.g. Ireland, Germany), but the overall scenario is consolidated and the best evidence can be found in the fact that nowadays we are already talking about a second generation of e-voting procedures. The technical, social and legal debates have been evolving identifying new analytical patterns. Continue reading

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Integrity investigation

Election forensics

English: A portable Tableau forensic write-blo...

English: A portable Tableau forensic write-blocker attached to a hard disk drive (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A recently published virtual issue on election fraud and electoral integrity [Ines Levin and Michael Alvarez Publishers] assembles recent research on the use of mathematical methods to detect fraud in elections. The papers are made available for free download during a limited time. Under the appealing title of “election forensics” the four papers included in the first part of the virtual issue deal with the recent use of methods based on mathematical laws such as Benford Law to search for “patterns that deviate from an expected distribution” of figures. Such deviations are considered to be indicators of possible errors or manipulations of election results. Continue reading

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