Swiss citizens abroad use the web to elect their delegates

OSA PRESS RELEASE: Bern, 12 June 2017 – Between today and 27 June, Swiss citizens living in Australia and Mexico are invited to elect their delegates to the Council of the Swiss Abroad (CSA), the governing body of the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA). For those living in these two countries, the big innovation for the 2017 election will be the ability to vote online using the CHVote electronic voting system developed by the canton of Geneva. The Confederation recognises the CSA as the official body representing the Swiss abroad.


The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad has joined forces with the canton of Geneva to enable Swiss citizens living in Mexico and Australia to use the Internet to elect their delegates. There are 2 seats to be filled in Mexico and 4 in Australia.


Once they have notified the embassy or consulate of their e-mail address, 18+ years old Swiss citizens living in these two countries can not only vote in the election of delegates to the Council of the Swiss Abroad (CSA), but also stand as candidates themselves. The pilot electronic voting project thus allows them to participate directly in the election if they wish to do so. Democracy has to be open and accessible to every Swiss citizen abroad, and that’s what is made possible by the electronic voting system developed and made available by Geneva. The CHVote system has been fully adapted to the OSA’s requirements in order to get the pilot project off the ground on time and allow Swiss citizens in Mexico and Australia to be the first to elect CSA delegates online.


CHVote is a pioneering electronic voting systems, with the world’s first ever online vote having been cast in the canton of Geneva on 19 January 2003. Since then, the voting platform, which is public and wholly owned by the State of Geneva, has been used regularly by Genevan citizens resident in the canton itself and abroad, and also by citizens of other Swiss cantons resident abroad, namely those of Basel City, Lucerne and Berne; citizens of Aargau and St. Gallen will be joining them from September 2017 onwards. CHVote is Switzerland’s premier e-voting platform not only in terms of the number of cantons using it but also in terms of the number of voters. Since its launch it has been used successfully in 119 votes (referenda and elections).