In recent years, a real debate appeared in Switzerland about e-voting.
It is a very sensitive and mediated subject. Some people think it's the only way to increase the participation rate that never goes above 50%. Some people think it's an open door for hackers from other countries to influence democratic votes.
Voting without e-voting
Today, we can vote in two different ways;
1. We go to a polling station and slip the ballot into the ballot box
2. We write our choice on a sheet and send it to the nearest polling station.
There are many problems with these two ways:
For point 1, you have to go to the polling station. This can be very restrictive depending on the age of the person or their means of transport. In addition, it is only open for 1 to 3 hours, depending on the region.
For point 2, the only disadvantage I can see is that you have to pay the stamp and post it.
However, the Swiss who live abroad receive the voting mail very late and it happens regularly that the polling stations receive the envelope after the date of the vote.
E-voting brings several undeniable advantages; the costs, the facility and of course the speed.Voting today is a real action, however, when there will be e-voting we will do it from a phone, in a very fast way. It will no longer be a burden to vote.
History of e-voting in Switzerland
You have to know that e-voting has been a subject for 15 years. Several "cantons" have pilot projects for all their inhabitants and their residents abroad. Others have it only for their foreign residents. And other don’t follow the trend..
Typically in my canton, you can only vote "online" if you live abroad. Their e-voting solution was developed by the Swiss Post.
However, the canton of Geneva which is not far from my home, allows to vote electronically for everyone. They even developed their own platform which is available as a free-software on Github.
The canton of Zoug, always looking to be avant-garde, proposes a solution based on Blockchain. And I find that the use-case for the blockchain is ideal and that the system is very safe.
Last week, the Federal Council (the Cabinet) decided to put in consultation a bill to establish e-voting as the third means of voting. Even if that does not mean that it will be done, it is a very big step towards the e-vote. Previously there has never been a comparable national project.
E-voting in the futur
I sincerely hope that e-voting will make its place over the next few years. Despite the security problems (often amplified in my opinion) I remain convinced that the e-vote has its place in Switzerland and that it must be offered as an option to citizens....