Recently the OSCE-ODIHR election assessment mission report for the 2011 Swiss elections was released, including an analysis of the internet voting trials conducted by the Swiss in the fall 2011 elections. Here is a summary statement from the report:
The careful, limited, and step-by-step manner in which Switzerland is introducing and testing internet voting is a good practice, both to ensure the integrity of the systems used and build public confidence in the process. In general, the OSCE/ODIHR EAM found the internet voting trials to work reliably and enjoy wide public trust. Nevertheless, there appear to be some weaknesses in the systems, including both legal and technical issues.
Further in the report, there are recommendations that future evaluations of internet voting in Switzerland be done in a more open and transparent manner, in particular with relation to system testing and certification, and the public’s ability to observe the internet voting process; the report noted “…there did not appear to be a meaningful possibility for the general public to observe or oversee internet voting procedures. Most key documents and explanations were not readily available to the public. Although the Federal Chancellery reports regularly to the National Council on the progress of internet voting, the OSCE/ODIHR EAM was informed that there has been limited parliamentary interest and political parties have not made any serious study or review of the internet voting systems.”
It’s an interesting report to read, and one that anyone with interest in voting technology and especially internet voting should take a close look at.