Swiss Post promotes eVoting
Neuchâtel becomes the first partner canton for Swiss Post’s eVoting platform. The canton of Neuchâtel will begin collaboration to implement Swiss Post’s second-generation eVoting platform already in 2016. The new platform is designed to meet the stringent federal requirements to be permitted to be used by all voters. It is an improved version of the previous system, which only 30 percent of the voting population in the canton of Neuchâtel was permitted to use.
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If the Confederation has its way, all Swiss voters will be able to vote and take part in referendums online in the not too distant future. In order for this to happen within the framework of the applicable laws and ordinances, the current electronic voting systems need to be replaced by new, fully verifiable platforms. Swiss Post wants to start testing its eVoting platform in various cantons from as early as next year. On Monday, Neuchâtel became the first canton to enter into a partnership with Swiss Post.
Swiss Post offers professional solutions for the digital age
Swiss Post has been interested in eVoting since 2012. It has been working with world market leader Scytl since 2014 in order to develop a platform that uses state-of-the-art technology. The eVoting platform is operated entirely by Swiss Post in its high-security data centers in Switzerland. Thanks to this service, Swiss Post can provide the cantons with a secure infrastructure for the electronic transfer of votes. Swiss Post will also help the cantons to implement and integrate the solution into their current IT systems, and will offer assistance with the preparation and processing of individual ballots.
Focus on security and verifiability
Ballot and voting secrecy must be ensured at all times, even when electronic voting is used. To guarantee that this is the case, the Swiss Post eVoting platform uses the latest available technology to sign, encrypt and verify voting and ballot information. This ensures that votes cannot be falsified and that data cannot be manipulated by anybody, from the time it is recorded until it has been saved in an encrypted digital urn, as well as during the encryption and counting processes. In addition, votes can be verified both individually and universally. This means that both voters and electoral authorities can check at all times that the votes cast have been correctly registered. Control elements allow the integrity of the entire system to be monitored during each digital poll. The principle is similar to that used by an electoral observer during the physical voting process. Thanks to these control mechanisms, the electronic voting process is in fact more secure and transparent than voting in person at the poll station.
Facilitate access, reduce mistakes
eVoting offers a range of additional advantages compared to the traditional paper procedure. Firstly, even people with a disability can cast an electronic vote, without needing the help of a third party. Secondly, eVoting allows Swiss nationals resident within Switzerland and abroad to vote in equal measure, irrespective of their location. In addition, eVoting systems have the clear advantage of eliminating formal errors in the voting and election process by providing clear user guidance. Illegible answers, omitted signatures, incorrectly completed forms or invalid lists can be avoided thanks to eVoting. The number of valid votes increases as a result, even when the total number of voters remains the same.