The trials involved 3 562 Swiss expatriates registered in the cantons of Basel-City, St. Gallen, GraubÃ¼nden and Aargau. Approximately 22 000 people were eligible to vote by electronic means, which constituted 0.4 % of the 5.09 million qualified voters. Up to 53.1 % of Swiss expatriate voters registered in the cantons to participate in the trials made use of eVoting. Only expatriates residing in a EU Member State or a Participating State of the Wassenaar Arrangement can cast their vote electronically, which makes up about 90 % of this voter group.
The eVoting success achieved by the four cantons is owed to the fact that they met the technical and logistical challenges posed by these trials; the entire process remained trouble-free and without any malfunctions.
This inaugural use of eVoting during the federal elections follows several successful trials conducted during federal referendums. This particular situation required the implementation of preliminary technical adjustments.
As the deadlines for delivery of voting equipment are even shorter for elections than for referendums, Swiss expatriate voters were often unable to participate in Parliamentary elections. eVoting overcomes this issue to a great extent.
The positive eVoting experience of the 2011 elections has strengthened the Confederation's resolve to allow the majority of qualified Swiss expatriates to vote electronically in the National Council elections of 2015.
The Federal Chancellery is drafting an assessment based on the lessons learnt from the eVoting trials to date conducted during referendums and elections. The next Federal Council report on eVoting will be published in 2013.
Launched in 2000, the eVoting project has been leading a series of trials in federal referendums since 2004. In 2007, the Federal Council and the Parliament decided on the gradual expansion of eVoting. Four stages of development were laid down: eVoting for referendums; eVoting for elections; eCollecting (electronic collection of signatures for initiatives and referendums); and electronic signatures on candidate lists. Thirteen cantons are currently involved in the project, now in its second implementation phase.
- Official news article - eGovernment Switzerland (in French, German and Italian)
- Related ePractice news article - CH: New steering committee set to enhance eVoting project
- Background information - ePractice eGovernment Factsheet for Switzerland