The Swiss have launched an app that provides background information as well as the results of all votes nationwide – including some dating back to the 1800s.
On Monday, the federal and cantonal authorities unveiled VoteInfo, which helps users educate themselves about upcoming votes and check the results over the course of a vote day. It’s also possible to explore archives that go back as far as 1981 at the federal level, and even farther in the cases of some cantons, like Zurich (1831).
In addition, users get a reminder to go out and vote. Vice Chancellor André Simonazzi describes it as a “typical e-government project”. He also tweeted about it:
VoteInfo will publish interim results from noon on vote days and update them regularly until the final results are available. The cantons automatically transmit their results to the Federal Statistical Officeexternal link, and the results are also continuously published as open government data at www.opendata.swissexternal link.
The Federal Chancelleryexternal link developed the app with the assistance of the statistics office and in close cooperation with canton Zurich. The latter already has experience with the “Züri stimmt” app, which is now being replaced by VoteInfo. The free new app is available for iOS and Android.
The app is available in German, French, Italian and Romansh. At the moment, the language of the app depends on the language of an individual smartphone. An upcoming release should allow users to choose the language, a spokesperson for the chancellery told swissinfo.ch on Tuesday.
Its development cost CHF150,000 ($153,000). In addition, there will be operating costs of around CHF100,000 a year.
What VoteInfo doesn’t do is offer information on candidates running for election. That’s the domain of smartvoteexternal link, which provides questionnaires to help people decide which candidates to vote for.