Think tank: ‘e-vote is simply a matter of time’

The authors of the report on the future of digital direct democracy in Switzerland say the recent setbacks should not block necessary technological progress. (Archive picture from an early e-vote trial in Geneva in 2003) Keystone/Laurent Gillieron

Modern technology offers new opportunities for citizens wishing to participate in direct democracy, according to the think tank, Avenir Suisse.

This content was published on July 30, 2019 - 16:14
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The report comes amid a series of setbacks of e-voting in Switzerland.

“Digitalisation has prompted an emotional roller coaster of exaggerated hopes and irrational fears,” said the authors of a report on the boon and bane of electronic tools for Swiss-style democracy.

The study found that the increased use of digital technology is simply a matter of time for votes and elections, as well as for the collection of signatures for people’s initiatives and referendums and for forming public opinion.

The authors notably point out the advantage of e-voting for expatriate Swiss as well as for people with special needs.

The report, which was presented on Tuesday, concludes that modern technology is necessary for the development of direct democracy in Switzerland, despite a series of recent setbacks over data security concerns.

The government earlier this year decided to drop plans to introduce e-voting on a permanent basis and both providers of e-vote options on a trial basis withdrew their technology following the discovery of a series of security flaws.

Avenir Suisse is an independent liberal think tank close to the business community. It regularly publishes reports on a wide range of topics.

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