Author Archives: robertkrimmer

Guidebook on the Upcoming European Citizen Initiative Released

The Green European Foundation recently published the first guidebook on the new European Citizen Intiative, which will be a first of a kind: a transnational initiative for citizens within the European Union member states. Download it here.

European Citizen Initiative

The Green European Foundation’s newest publication deals with the European Citizens’ Initiative and is a practical guide to this first attempt of creating a transnational direct democracy tool. You can now order a copy of the publication from the GEF office.

A new principle

The new European Citizens’ Initiative (Art.11.4 of the Lisbon Treaty of the European Union) gives one million EU citizens from several Member States a new opportunity forlegislative agenda-setting. With the entry into force of this first ever transnational and direct-democratic tool, EU citizens obtain the same right as the EU Parliament and the Member States to influence the EU Commission.

A new practice

The new European Citizens’ Initiative right can make a real difference. The first edition of this Handbook by the Green European Foundation and the Initiative and Referendum Institute Europe gives you the context and the background you need in order to make an effective entrance onto this new stage of European politics – together with half a billion other EU citizens.

Your new opportunity

This is the first practical Guide to the European Citizens’ Initiative, including a Ten Step Manual for an efficient and successful use of the new instrument, featuring (1) The Idea, (2) The Knowledge (3) The Goals (4) The Design (5) Registration (6) Signature Gathering (7) Dialogue (8) Thresholds (9) Communication (10) Lessons learnt.

Order your copy now

Would you like a copy of the publication? Please send an e-mail to Opens window for sending emailinfo(at) including a postal address and we will make sure to send you a copy.

The publication is currently only available in English, but German, French and Spanish versions will be soon ready. Please mention which language version you would like to receive.

Council of Europe presents New Documents on E-voting

The Council of Europe presented at the Bi-annual review meeting of electronic voting yesterday and today three new documents:

  • an E-voting handbook (edited by Susanne Caarls from Council of Europe)
    Order it here
  • Guidelines on the transparency of e-elections (edited by the member states of the CoE)

    “… These guidelines provide a practical tool to facilitate the implementation of the 2004 Recommendation, especially Recommendations 20 to 23 which invite member states to ensure the transparency of their voting system thereby fostering voters’ and observers’ confidence in the system. The Recommendations propose minimum requirements for the transparency of e-enabled elections of political elections and referendums at all tiers of governance. …” Read it here.

  • Guidelines on certification of e-voting systems (edited by the member states of the CoE)

    “…The added value of certification is not only to establish if an e-voting system is in
    compliance with prescribed requirements and standards, it is also an important tool in the
    establishment of trust. Certification can also be helpful in the context of public
    The guidelines are developed for use in political elections and referendums at all tiers of
    governance. They are not intended to prescribe or to impose on any country a particular
    way of certification, but rather to provide member states with a tool to assess the
    requirements for a comprehensive certification process. The goal of this document is to
    support member states to improve their current processes, to exchange best practises and
    to gradually move towards a common framework…” Read it here.

All three documents have been developped within the framework of the Council of Europe review meeting on electronic voting, and as such are not binding but indicative guidelines to the member states of the CoE. Comments are welcome by sending to

International PhD Workshop on E-voting in Krems/Austria

My colleagues Melanie Volkamer (Technical University of Darmstadt) and Manuel Kripp (E-Voting.CC) are organizing a bi-annual PhD workshop, the next to be held in Krems/Austria on 7 and 8 May 2011.  Our fellow election updates co-author Thad will hopefully also be present to give some insights from his perspective. Application letter is due 2011-01-31. Read more about it here.

It can greatly be combined with submitting also a paper to the CEDEM conference (taking place at the same location just before the workshop) where Melanie and Thad organize a track on e-voting.  Deadline for submissions is a bit earlier, actually on 2010-12-01.

Azerbaijan holds Internet Voting Shadow Election

Internet Voting

The election monitoring alliance held a shadow election (non binding, more like an opinion poll) in parallel to the Azerbaijani Parliamentary election last week. 25,442 participated. Read more here.

Election Observation of “Traditional” Voting

Also on monday our Office for Democracy Institutions and Human rights released its preliminary report, saying ‘Azerbaijan’s elections, though peaceful with opposition participation, did not mark meaningful progress in democratic development’. The final report is expected in 2 months. Read more here.

E-voting in Tanzania?

Introduction of new “e-” applications in the electoral process often go along with discussions in various media. The same case happened in Tansania, which introduced a new electronic tabulation system in their elections last sunday (2010-10-31).

The EU election observation mission describes it in their preliminary statement as follows:

Transmission of Results
The NEC established a new method for the transmission of results for the 2010 general elections. After counting and posting the result forms outside the polling stations, presiding officers transported the result forms to the ward level and handed them over to the assistant returning officer. After collecting the results from all the polling stations in the ward, the assistant returning officer transported the result forms to the district electoral office handing them over to the respective returning officer who was in charge of aggregating the results of his/her constituency. The district electoral offices were equipped with laptops and scanners and two data entry clerks. Results from polling stations were entered twice in the system using a “double blind entry” and aggregated to generate the constituency results summary.
For the Zanzibar elections, the same system was implemented although the presiding officers transported the results directly from the polling stations to the district electoral office. The results forms were handed over to the returning officer in charge of aggregating the results of his/her constituency. Domestic and International observers as well as political party agents followed the aggregation of results on district level. At the ZEC validation of results center, the denial of access to political party agents and international and domestic observers not only raised doubts about the transparency of the process but also contradicted the assurances of previously agreed access given in the Memorandum of Understanding between the European Union and ZEC.

But not everyone likes this development, and international discussion around e-voting seems to spill over to the discussion of Tansania’s system:

Dr Slaa said that the intelligence service was involved in manipulating the presidential votes. He said his party had uncovered significant vulnerabilities in the electronic voting systems, which he claimed were manipulated by TISS officers to give votes to CCM, raising concerns about what already looks to be one of the most divisive elections in Tanzania history.

“My biggest concern is that in a very large trusted computing base, the threat of somebody with access to the development environment of the code base, particularly the vendor, basically is in a position to make the outcome of the election come out how they would like, and it’s virtually undetectable,” he said.

Sometimes it seems using “e-” in elections equals always “e-voting” and leads to some confusion. So it will be interesting how this discussion will continue. A similar discussion in Italy a couple of years back led to a ban of the respective tabulation system …