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Vote online Swiss expats to trial e-voting in Vaud

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E-voting: calls are mounting for its introduction everywhere

(© KEYSTONE / GIAN EHRENZELLER)

Voters from the canton of Vaud who live abroad are to be allowed to try out e-voting in national ballots, the government said on Friday.

The trial applies from September 25 this year until November 24, 2019, a Federal Chancellery statement saidexternal link. Vaud will use the system developed by the canton of Geneva, which is also favoured by the cantons of Bern, Lucerne, Basel City, St Gallen and Aargau.

This means some 213,000 voters would be allowed to cast their ballots electronically for the November 25 voteexternal link on the subjects of the Swiss constitution versus international law, social detectives and the practice of de-horning cows.

These include 113,000 Swiss residents in the cantons of Fribourg, Basel City, St. Gallen, Neuchâtel and Geneva and 100,000 Swiss abroad from the cantons of Bern, Lucerne, Fribourg, Basel-City, St. Gallen, Aargau, Thurgau, Vaud, Neuchâtel and Geneva. Vaud is the latest canton to be added to this list.

Developments

In its autumn session parliament stopped attempts to rein in e-voting after concerns over the risks, such as hacking, were raised by two political parties. But further debates are expected.

In June, the Federal Council, Switzerland’s ruling body, said it wanted to enshrine electronic voting in Swiss law as an alternative to paper ballots in elections and votes. Based on an expert report, e-voting can be considered as a secure and reliable method, according Federal Chancellor Walter Thurnherr.

The Federal Chancelleryexternal link, which oversees voting issues, has been mandated to present detailed proposals later this year, which will be subject to a consultation procedure among political parties, institutions and the cantons. Parliament is to discuss the government plans within the next two years.

The Organisation of the Swiss Abroadexternal link (OSA) wants all registered Swiss expats to be able to use the e-vote option by 2021. It has launched an online petitionexternal link on the issue.

SDA-ATS/ilj

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