Five Years of Internet Voting for Swiss Expatriates

Share of votes cast over the Internet in total votes cast among Swiss expatriates, 2009-2014


Initially targeted at residential voters only, Swiss internet voting trials have recently been extended to expatriates. In this paper, we review the Swiss experience with internet voting systems for expatriates. After a short overview of the Swiss internet voting roll-out focusing on the recent trials involving expatriates, we present newly collected data on the usage of the electronic voting channel. We find that internet voting is rather popular among expatriates. Already, every second Swiss abroad eligible to e-vote makes use of the electronic channel, with increasing tendency. Moreover, we inquire about the socio-demographic characteristics of the expatriate online voter. Most of the known socio-demographic correlates of electronic voting – in particular male gender, IT skills, political knowledge, and possibly young age – seem to replicate for the case of expatriates. The only factor specific to expatriates is that the probability of casting the vote electronically increases with geographical distance to the home country.

In: Peter Parycek and Noella Edelmann (eds.), CeDEM 14. Conference for E-Democracy and Open Government. 21–23 May 2014, Danube University Krems, Austria, pp. 127–140. Krems: Danube University Krems