Studies have shown that electronic voting is one of the eGovernment services which is most in demand by the general public. The aim of the Confederation and the cantons is to promote the introduction of electronic voting. In Switzerland, electronic voting was introduced through pilot schemes from 2004 onwards. In over 300 trials, a total of 15 cantons made electronic voting possible for a number of their voters. However, eVoting is currently not possible in Switzerland.
With electronic voting, the Swiss culture and traditions of political rights are moving into the digital age. eVoting simplifies the voting procedure for elections and votes, and prevents invalid votes from being cast. It also improves the counting process.
Voters should be free to choose: they can cast their vote by letter, in person at the ballot box or, if their canton offers eVoting, electronically. The electronic channel is thus intended as an additional option which offers an accessible, mobile and traceable option for voting.
The Confederation regulates the exercise of political rights in federal matters. The cantons are responsible for the implementation of federal elections and are therefore the actual project managers for the introduction and implementation of eVoting. They decide whether, when and with which system electronic voting should be offered. The Confederation is responsible for the approval and authorisation of eVoting in federal elections. Only systems that meet the Confederation's stringent security requirements are authorised.
On 26 June 2019, the Federal Council commissioned the Federal Chancellery to work with the cantons to redesign the trial phase of e-voting. The aim is to establish stable trial operations using e-voting systems, which are fully verifiable. The redesign of the trial phase focuses on the following four objectives:
The Federal Council has tasked the Federal Chancellery with the gradual implementation of the new redesign measures and to present a draft consultation document containing the necessary amendments to the legal bases. Once these amendments have been made and the systems independently tested, e-voting trials can be relaunched.
At its meeting on 28 April 2021 the Federal Council decided to open the consultation procedure for the redesign of electronic voting trials. The Ordinance on Political Rights (PoRO) will undergo a partial revision and the Federal Chancellery Ordinance on Electronic Voting ("VEleS", OEV) will be completely revised. This is intended to create a new, stable basis for e-voting trials.
The Confederation and the cantons develop a stable eVoting operation with fully verifiable systems. They establish a new process for risk management. The aim is to provide the cantons with optimum support when introducing eVoting.
|M1: Ensure support in meeting security requirements, implementing risk-minimising measures and certification.||31.12.2023|
|M2: Implement supporting measures to promote confidence in electronic voting.||31.12.2023|
|M3: Implement the legislative process: Review the legal basis of the Confederation with regard to effective certification and approval processes and security requirements.||31.12.2023|
|M4: Support cantonal projects to introduce eVoting.||31.12.2023|
Swiss Federal Chancellery, Political Rights Section
Contact person: Mirjam Hostettler
Contact: mirjam.hostettler(at)bk.admin.ch, +41 58 467 21 64