Nine out of ten Swiss citizens living abroad will be able to vote by using remote electronic systems by 2015, according to the Federal Chancellor, Corina Casanova.This content was published on August 8, 2009 - 18:41
She said careful preparations for the introduction of e-voting were necessary to fulfill extensive security requirements, respect the federalist structure and consider the linguistic diversity of the country.
"The Swiss abroad are an important asset for Switzerland. E-voting will allow them to exercise their democratic rights," said Casanova at the annual Congress of the Swiss Abroad in Lucerne on Saturday.
She added that Switzerland and Estonia are pioneers in plans for online voting.
The authorities aim to grant e-voting options for at least 50 per cent of the expatriate community in 2012. The rest of the community would obtain access to the service over the following years.
Tests in Switzerland have been underway in several of the country's 26 cantons since 2003, notably in Geneva, Zurich and Neuchâtel. They will be extended to Basel in November and - for the first time - to Swiss expats registered in Geneva.
About 680,000 Swiss citizens lived abroad last year, of whom more than 125,000 have registered to participate in ballots in Switzerland.
Urs Geiser in Lucerne, swissinfo.ch
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