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Online democracy Swiss Post’s e-voting system pulled for May votes

Laptop and voting papers

Swiss Post’s e-voting system had been in use in four cantons: Basel City, Fribourg, Neuchâtel and Thurgau

(Keystone)

The e-voting system operated by Swiss Post will not be available for nationwide votes on May 19. This is the consequence of “critical errors” found during a public intrusion test, the Federal Chancellery and Swiss Post announced on Friday. 

The Federal Chancellery said in a statementexternal link it would review the licensing and certification procedures for e-voting systems. It added that it had no indication that these flaws had resulted in votes being manipulated in previous ballots. 

Swiss Post’s e-voting system had been in use in four cantons: Basel City, Fribourg, Neuchâtel and Thurgau. 

The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad said on Fridayexternal link it was deeply disappointed by the news, describing it as a blow against online voting “and thus a denial of the democratic rights of the Swiss Abroad”.

The verified defect concerns individual verifiability, described by the Federal Chancellery as a “key component” of Swiss Post’s existing e-voting system. Individual verifiability allows the voter to verify that the system has correctly registered their vote. 

The e-voting system developed and used by canton Geneva is not affected by this flaw. The six cantons using that system – Aargau, Bern, Geneva, Lucerne, St Gallen and Vaud – have therefore been authorised to use it for the votes on May 19external link.


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