The use of electronic voting in Switzerland has been making slow progress amid setbacks over security concerns. The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA) is pushing for the introduction of e-voting for all Swiss expats by the next parliamentary elections in October 2019. Critics complain that the number of cantons offering their registered Swiss citizens abroad the option of e-voting falls short of expectations. In all, 775,000 Swiss citizens live overseas and if you consider that e-voting trials using online technology have been underway since 2004, the number of potential beneficiaries is rather modest. About 158,000 expats from eight cantons (see map below) have the option of participating in the September 24 votes on the controversial old age pension reform, food security and some cantonal issues using a secure computer programme. Eighteen other cantons, including the populous cantons of Zurich and Vaud, do not offer e-voting.
… Two years ago, the organisation appeared to be on track with more than half the Swiss cantons offering e-voting. But in August 2015 the government put the brakes on, blocking the use of an e-vote system developed by a United States IT company.
The government said the system had serious security flaws and failed to guarantee voting secrecy. Critics have also raised concerns about attacks by computer hackers trying to manipulate the result of a vote or an election.
Currently two certified systems – one developed by a Spanish company on behalf of Swiss Postexternal link and another by canton Genevaexternal link – are in operation. Both are competing to win additional contracts from the cantons which have not yet decided.