OSA PRESS RELEASE: Bern, 28 June 2018 – The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA) welcomes the Federal Council’s decision to commission the Federal Chancellery with the preparation of a project that makes e-voting a regular voting option. This decision represents a significant step forward in the introduction of e-voting and recognises it as a safe and reliable option. For Swiss Abroad, this e-voting is often the only way to exercise their political rights.
The OSA is pleased about the Federal Council’s decision of 27 June 2018, which will lead to an amendment of the Federal Law on Political Rights (Bundesgesetzes über die politischen Rechte – BPR) by the end of 2018. The aim is to make electronic voting a voting option like any other and to achieve a complete digitisation of the voting process.
This announcement is a very encouraging signal. It testifies to the will of the Federal Council to promote the introduction of electronic voting and affirms the confidence of the Confederation in the trustworthiness of the system. This is all the more pleasing as in recent months critical voices have been heard, in particular on the political level, which question the security of e-voting. For this reason, several parliamentary enquiries have been tabled aiming to restrict the introduction of electronic voting.
The OSA, which has been calling for electronic voting for years, has always trusted the Federal Chancellery for which security takes precedence over the speed at which the system is introduced.
In practice, e-voting is often the only way for the 164,000 Swiss Abroad (registered on the electoral roll) to exercise their political rights. Unfortunately and too often, they receive their ballot papers very or even too late to vote in time. Late and thus invalid votes increase in frequency. The voting participation of the Swiss Abroad is therefore declining. Only a timely introduction of electronic voting can solve these problems.