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E-governance Study reveals huge demand for e-voting in Switzerland

E-voting material in Switzerland

E-voting is only used by 2% of Swiss voters at present, yet 68% believe it should be open to all.

(Keystone / Martial Trezzini)

Over two-thirds of Swiss people believe all citizens should be able to vote online, a national survey has revealed.

A government studyexternal link, published on Tuesday, revealed that demand for electronic governance services was far greater than what was on offer.

E-voting, for example, is only used by 2% of Swiss voters at present, yet 68% believe it should be open to all. Meanwhile, 12% say it should only be available to voters with disabilities and those living abroad.

Over the past 15 years several cantons have used e-voting on a trial basis with systems developed by Swiss Post or canton Geneva (this system will be stopped at the end of 2019 for cost reasons). Many Swiss voters – especially those living abroad – are eager to vote online, but there is also opposition in certain quarters.

Most people who took part in the government study said they were very open to the idea of using e-governance services. Over 60% of those questioned said they do all or at least half of their administrative procedures online. This rises to 73% for companies.

Most firms said they did not encounter any problems when using e-government services; only 8% reported difficulties.

Concerns, complications

While 90% of individuals said they were generally successful when carrying out administrative procedures online, one quarter felt there were certain complications, relating to data protection and security concerns, locating offers and the lack of explanations.

There was widespread agreement that much work is still needed to improve e-governance offers at federal, cantonal and communal levels in Switzerland. In all, 86% of federal and local government employees believe e-governance offers must be further developed, a view shared by the population and companies.

The second national study on e-governance was carried out by the independent polling firm DemoSCOPE on behalf of the eGovernment Switzerland Programme Office external linkand the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). 

Electronic voting Ten arguments for and against e-voting

Is voting online a big step forwards or backwards? Opinion in Switzerland about the use of electronic voting is divided.

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