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Canton Bern agrees to e-voting for expats

Swiss abroad who are registered as voters from canton Bern will soon be able to cast their ballot electronically.

Under an agreement signed on Friday, canton Bern will from 2012 use canton Geneva’s electronic voting platform, which is already being shared by canton Basel City.

In Switzerland, cantons Geneva, Neuchâtel and Zurich have electronic systems of their own. The federal authorities have recommended other cantons use one of these three platforms as electronic voting develops in the country.

Bern opted for the Geneva system as it had proved reliable and satisfied the demands of federal authorities in terms of security.

The canton Bern site will be identical to those of Geneva and Basel Country and be accessible in Switzerland’s four national languages – German, French, Italian and Romansh.

Federal authorities have approved electronic voting for Swiss abroad living in the European Union, in some European countries designated by the government and in nations belonging to the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies.

They say only these countries can guarantee freedom of speech and voting secrecy.

Nine out of ten Swiss living abroad are resident in such countries.

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