Casting votes on the Internet

Switzerland & the Future of Elections

The Future of Democracy, HIR Spring Issue 2013

The Future of Democracy, HIR Spring Issue 2013

The spring 2013 issue of the Harvard International Review features an article on the Swiss internet voting experience, by Alexander H. Trechsel and Urs Gasser. Published before the latest developments of last Summer (Report of the federal Government, proposed modifications of the legislation), the article presents a brief history of Internet voting in Switzerland and three high-level observations of particular interest to an international audience. The authors conclude that first, the feasibility of Internet voting and its effects cannot be assessed in isolation from the institutional context. Continue reading

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Client-side viruses and internet voting

A shocking truth?

Keeping your hard drive healthy (Stop motion)

Keeping your hard drive healthy (Stop motion) (Photo credit: weesen)

Twelve cantons implemented internet voting at yesterday’s federal vote. According to the federal Chancellery 22 586 voters did actually vote via internet out of the 158 500 authorized ones. Two cantons, Geneva and Neuchâtel, authorized both (a fraction of) residents and their Swiss abroad to vote via internet. The other ten cantons only used i-voting for their expatriates. Up to 58.45 % of the Swiss abroad who voted did so via internet clearly showing that this is becoming their preferred voting channel. Continue reading

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“Internet voting and federalism: the Swiss case” in RGDPC

New paper

The Spanish General Review of Compared Public Law (Revista general de derecho publico comparado or RGDPC) dedicates a special issue to the juridical dimension of e-voting, “El voto electrónico y sus dimensiones jurídicas: entre la ingenua complacencia y el rechazo precipitado”, coordinated by Jordi Barrat (13 July 2013). Continue reading

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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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