Amendment of the Federal Act on Political Rights (transfer of electronic voting to ordinary operation)

The SFTI is of the opinion that the opportunities offered by progressive digitisation should not only be seized in the private sector, but also in public administration in particular. On the one hand, the digitisation of the voting procedure is likely to be associated with the creation of efficiency advantages. On the other hand, it should also meet the demands of a large part of the population for a modern administrative apparatus and thus in principle be suitable for making a positive contribution to the development of democracy. This is currently evident, for example, in Estonia, where the electorate makes active use of the existing e-voting offer (in the national elections at the beginning of March 2019, for example, around half of the voters cast their votes electronically, cf. NZZ of 27 March 2019).

However, e-voting not only offers opportunities, but also involves risks (e.g. software errors, data manipulation, etc.). As the recent intrusion test of Swiss Post’s e-voting system has shown, there is currently a serious security gap in the software used, which allows unnoticed manipulation of the voting or election results. Data security must be given top priority in the implementation and implementation of e-voting so that the opportunities described above can be successfully exploited. In addition to the risks associated with data security, the effects of the introduction of e-voting on democratic decision-making processes (e.g. exercise of initiative and referendum rights) should also be examined and any necessary adjustments to the relevant requirements discussed.

Read the full statement here (German).