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A referendum on eVoting by Geneva voters confirms the vision of the Geneva Government, WISeKey and its partners in developing secure technologies to facilitate the Citizen interaction with their governments


Geneva 9th February 2009. This Sunday Citizens in Geneva voted in favor of the Geneva e-Voting project by an overwhelming 70 per cent. With this vote of confidence voters decided to enshrine electronic voting into law making Geneva the first of Switzerland’s 26 cantons to do so. The objective is to introduce full-fledged e-voting by 2010, building on the already-successful system in use since 2003.
This project started in March 2000, at that time the Cantonal executive (Conseil d’Etat) agreed on a proposal to implement e-voting within the subsequent three years.
In the course of a public tender in the fall of 2000, two private enterprises (Hewlett-Packard and WISekey SA) were selected for working out the design of the system and the adequate software requirements.
At the same time, various experts from reputable local institutions (CERN, the University of Geneva, and others) were chosen to analyze various critical issues of e-voting procedures (e.g. problems of voter identification, security and confidentiality of votes, etc.).
WISeKey’s long experience in securing e-Government services and its unique Trust Platform and ID portability capability are a major asset for the deployment of e-Voting applications and other security-sensitive online government services as components of the Citizen Service Platforms that WISeKey is deploying around the world in conjunction with key partners such as Microsoft” said Carlos Moreira, Founder and CEO of WISeKey
The success of the e-voting project in Geneva, prompted the Swiss Federal Government to continue this experiment at the federal level. The e-voting system was introduced by the Chancellor of the State of Geneva who mandated the government’s technical teams, WISeKey and HP to develop a solution compatible with the Swiss voting habits and legal constraints. This included guaranteeing the secrecy and integrity of votes, avoiding the interception of votes, and ensuring that many other conditions were met, such as:

  • ensuring that each voter can vote only once;
  • restricting e-voting access to registered voters;
  • allowing access to the system only during the voting period, from the official opening to the official closing of the e-Ballot box;
  • ensuring that the ballot box can only be counted in the presence of the minimum quorum of electoral representatives;

Appropriate measures were built into the system to avoid illegal opening of the e-Ballot box, to ensure that no bias has been introduced by the system and that there are no lost votes. These logistics are essential to guarantee the reliability, trustworthiness and effectiveness of the e-voting system.
WISeKey has since then, assisted many governments with their citizen to government applications with the development in cooperation with Microsoft of a Citizen Service Platform which includes e-voting, e-polling, among many other services provided to the citizens that via leading-edge identity federation that enables the establishment of customized citizen portals adapted to the needs and the interests of each citizen in a real Web 2.0 environment.
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Tags: evoting Geneva