Votes now possible with Swiss Post’s e-voting system
Today, the Federal Council granted three cantons initial authorization for the use of Swiss Post’s e- voting system. The e-voting system developed by Swiss Post will be used for the first time as part of the trial operation for votes in the cantons of Basel-Stadt, St. Gallen and Thurgau on 18 June 2023. This is a first for the new system and an important milestone for Swiss Post. However, work on the e-voting system has not yet been completed. Swiss Post will carry out ongoing developments to the system in future – and will continue to rely on the expertise of independent specialists.
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The Federal Council has granted the cantons of Basel-Stadt, St. Gallen and Thurgau initial authorization for the use of Swiss Post’s e-voting system. In June, selected eligible voters will be able to vote electronically again for the first time since 2019. This is part and parcel of the federal government’s trial operation. “We’ve invested a lot in the past few years and specifically developed competencies in order to develop an e-voting system in Switzerland and for Switzerland. As a result, electronic voting is now possible again. The initial authorization is a significant step for our e- voting system,” says Nicole Burth, Head of Communication Services at Swiss Post. “This means that selected people in the cantons of Basel-Stadt, St. Gallen and Thurgau can now not only shop or pay invoices online, but also vote digitally. In this way, we’re making a contribution to Switzerland ultimately becoming more and more digital as well,” she adds. With its system, Swiss Post is providing a solution that meets a considerable need among the population. According to a study, 84 percent of the Swiss population would like to be able to cast their vote electronically sometimes or always.
Swiss Post is continuously working on the security of the system
Through its e-voting system, Swiss Post is digitizing an area which it has been successfully and reliably involved in for years, namely transporting confidential information securely. In doing so, Swiss Post has pioneered an e-voting system with complete verifiability.
Input from external, independent experts has always been an important element throughout the development process: since the beginning of 2021, Swiss Post has invited experts from all over the world to put the system through its paces. A total of 203 invaluable reports have been received to date as part of the bug bounty programme. Since mid-2021, independent experts have also reviewed the e-voting system in several stages on behalf of the Confederation. Based on the reports provided, Swiss Post has been able to make further improvements to its system. Swiss Post will continue to rely on the expertise of specialists from all over the world in the future.
The Federal Chancellery has today published the audit reports from the latest independent review. The need for action identified in the report has been set out in a catalogue of measures by the Confederation, the cantons involved and Swiss Post. Swiss Post has already begun to implement the measures together with the cantons, and will continuously develop the system in accordance with the areas of action outlined in the catalogue of measures. It means Swiss Post will always be ready to respond to the latest technological developments in the area of information security.
At no point can inferences be made about individual voters from the votes cast.
Eligible voters who can use e-voting in the cantons of Basel-Stadt, St. Gallen and Thurgau will receive individual security codes for electronic voting in addition to the usual voting documents. This allows them to register on their canton’s e- voting platform and vote electronically. All information transmitted during the vote is anonymized and protected thanks to end-to-end encryption. The electoral commission appointed by the canton can check the entire electronic voting process. In this way, Swiss Post’s e-voting system offers complete verifiability. Under the Confederation’s new legal framework, only completely verifiable systems can be used for e-voting in Switzerland. At no point can inferences be made about individual voters from the votes cast.
Silvana Grellmann, Swiss Post Media Unit, 058 341 26 71, firstname.lastname@example.org