Bern to review electronic voting in 2013
Limits on numbers raised for Geneva, Neuchatel
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss Federal government 4 April authorized 12 cantons to allow electronic voting during federal elections 17 June 2012. In all but two of the cantons the electronic vote is available only to their citizens abroad. Geneva and Neuchatel are the exception and in both cases the Federal Council Wednesday agreed to raise the limit on the percent of citizens who may vote electronically, from 20 to 30 percent.
Bern cited the long experience these two cantons now have, as pioneers in electronic voting. Neuchatel has used the system 16 times and Geneva 11 times.
Some 164,000 citizens will be able to vote electronically, about 3.2 percent of the population of 5.1 million qualified voters and one-third of the total number allowed by the constitution, although Bern notes that the limit is lower, 10 percent, for non-obligatory federal votes.
The federal government, which has been authorizing “trial” electronic voting, will assess the experiences of various cantons, at the cantonal and federal level, in 2013 as part of longer term plans. A priority, the government notes in a statement Wednesday, is to encourage the Swiss abroad to vote.