Swiss citizens should be able to vote electronically
The Confederation and cantons want to promote the introduction of eVoting. Between 2004 and 2019, over 300 eVoting tests took place in 15 cantons.
Electronic channel as an additional offering
The Confederation and cantons want to use eVoting to digitalise voting. Voters should be able to vote by post, in person at the ballot box and, in future, electronically. The digital channel thus offers an additional method that provides a barrier-free and mobile voting option.
Secure eVoting in Switzerland
Responsibilities and division of tasks
The Confederation regulates the exercise of political rights in federal matters. The cantons are responsible for organising voting. They thus carry the main responsibility for the introduction and implementation of eVoting. The Confederation, in turn, is responsible for the approval and authorisation of eVoting. Only systems that meet the Confederation's stringent security requirements will be used.
Redesign of the test operation
In summer 2019, the Federal Council instructed the Federal Chancellery to redesign the test operation in collaboration with the cantons. The aim is to achieve a stable test operation with fully verifiable eVoting systems. A comprehensive catalogue of measures was drawn up for this redesign. The objectives are as follows: in future, the systems should be fully verifiable and security should be further reinforced through more precise security requirements. There should be effective controls on behalf of the Confederation. The tests should have increased transparency requirements, and both the public and independent experts should be involved in the review and further development. In addition, academia should be more closely involved in the work on eVoting and in the design of the test phase. These measures should strengthen people's trust in electronic voting.
In the first stage of the redesign, the legal framework has been revised. The partially revised Ordinance on Political Rights (PoRO) and the totally revised Ordinance of the Federal Chancellery on Electronic Voting (OEV) entered into force on 1 July 2022 (link to press release of 25 May 2022).
At its meeting on 3 March 2023, the Federal Council granted the cantons of Basel-Stadt, St Gallen and Thurgau basic licences for resuming trials with online voting (e-voting) in federal votes. The basic licences are valid for conducting online voting for a limited part of the electorate up to and including the vote on 18 May 2025. At the same time, the Federal Chancellery has granted its authorisation to hold the popular vote on 18 June 2023 online.
Implementation plan objective 03/21
Redesigning eVoting and ensuring stable test operation
«The Confederation and the cantons shall develop a stable eVoting operation with fully verifiable systems. They shall establish a new process for risk management. The aim is to provide the cantons with optimum support for the introduction of eVoting.»