The cantonal council in Geneva is offering its residents abroad the possibility of voting electronically 6 October and 10 November, only the second time they’ve been given the option to vote electronically. The previous voting sessions in October 2012 were majority votes, but the 6 October will be the first proportional vote done this way. Cantonal councilors underscored their decision by saluting the 14 June decision by the Federal Council to adopt a report on electronic voting that lays out clear guidelines for the cantons. Electronic voting during its first six year test phase was financed by the federal government, but starting this year the cantons are responsible for covering the costs, with some help from Bern until 2014.
The report says that Switzerland’s trial period for electronic voting, from 2006 to 2012, was a positive exerience. The new, more stringent guidelines, particularly for verification of votes, are based on that experience.
The cantons will be able to decide when and how to roll out electronic voting to the full electorate as long as they observe the new guidelines; for now a limited number of voters can use the electronic option in the 12 cantons that have adopted it.