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Germann etal krems
Germann etal krems
Germann etal krems
Germann etal krems
Germann etal krems
Germann etal krems
Germann etal krems
Germann etal krems
Germann etal krems
Germann etal krems
Germann etal krems
Germann etal krems
Germann etal krems
Germann etal krems
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  • 1. Five Years of Internet Voting for Swiss Expatriates Krems, May 22, 2014 Micha Germann Flurin Conradin Christoph Wellig Uwe Serdült
  • 2. • Internet voting in Switzerland • Usage of the new remote voting channel • Turnout effect • Conclusions Structure
  • 3. • Federalism strongly shaped the Swiss i-voting experiments • Elections are a cantonal, in some cases even a communal matter • Consequence: implementation was left to the cantons • Independent set-up of three distinct online voting systems in three‘pilot’ cantons: • Geneva (no pre-registration; 2003-2005, 2008-) • Zurich (no pre-registration; 2005-2011) • Neuchâtel (pre-registration; 2005-) The Swiss I-Voting Roll-Out 3
  • 4. I-Voting Experiments for Residents 4
  • 5. • Initially exclusive focus on residents, expats were left out • At least part of the expat community with strong interest in participating in Swiss elections/referendum votes • Postal voting with problems: late dispatch of voting material, problems with postal delivery • 2008: Neuchâtel becomes the first canton to extend the offer to expats • The other two pilots follow suit in 2009/10 • Beginning in 2009, other cantons jump in too • 2014: i-voting for expats in 12 cantons The Swiss I-Voting Roll-Out II 5
  • 6. I-Voting Experiments for Expats (2008-) 8
  • 7. • The usage rate is an important argument in the political debate • Assessment based on freshly collected data on usage of the internet voting channel in federal votes, 2004-2013 • Given the unrivalled high frequency of votes, some interesting patterns emerge, despite the short time period i-voting has been available • Some caveats: • Figures for Neuchâtel’s residential voters include Swiss abroad up to June 2013 • Data for expatriate trials in four cantons is missing completely (ZH, GR, SH, & SO) • Some deficits in data quality (Swiss abroad figures inAG, LU; NE, SG, &TG include expats outside the Wassenaar context, who have not been eligible to i-vote until recently) Popularity of Online Voting Channel 9
  • 8. Online Voter Share among Residential Voters (Annualized) 10 Neuchâtel Zurich Geneva 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013  Higher share if no pre-registration required  Novelty effect  Interruptions are disruptive
  • 9. Online Voter Share among Expatriate Voters (Annualized) 11 Neuchâtel Zurich Geneva 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Argovia Basel-City Berne Fribourg Geneva Lucerne Neuchatel St. Gall Thurgau Zurich Note: solid lines and dots denote Swiss abroad; dashed lines and hollow triangles Swiss residents  I-voting much more popular among expats  Except if pre-registration  No (or at least weaker) novelty effect  Clear upward trend
  • 10. • The extension to expats has been linked to hopes of boosting turnout • At least in theory, i-voting lowers the cost associated with voting (especially for expatriates) • Voting may not be possible for expatriates w/o i-voting at all (if voting materials arrive too late) • Certainty that the vote is counted • Sciarini et al. 2013 show that hopes have not materialized, at least not for Geneva’s residential voters • On the other hand, Lutz (2012) reports a significant bivariate correlation in an unrepresentative survey of Swiss expats in the context of the 2011 federal elections • What if we instead look at a longer time span and actual turnout levels? Turnout Effect 12
  • 11. • Method: comparing turnout in i-voting and non-ivoting cantons using a difference-in-difference type of logic • Main problem: data sparsity • Only 12/26 cantons collect expat turnout data • In only 5 of the cantons we have data over a sufficiently long time span • 2 i-voting cantons began to collect turnout data only after introduction of i- voting (FR & NE) and 3 immediately before the introduction (SG,TG, &AG) • 2 non-i-voting cantons began to collect turnout data only recently (VS & UR) • Still, at least a tentative appraisal is possible Turnout Effect II 13
  • 12. Turnout Effect III 14 0 .1 .2 .3 .4 .5 .6 .7 .8 Turnout 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 Year w/o e-voting with e-voting Turnout effect (Basel-City vs. Vaud)
  • 13.  small N  Cantons for which data is available may not be representative  Tentative finding Turnout Effect VII 18 Table 1: Effect of I-Voting Availability on Turnout in Two-Way Fixed Effects Models 5 Cantons 12 Cantons I-Voting -.021 [ -.074, 032] .000 [-.04, .041] -.02 [-.05, .001] -.007 [-.034, .021] Canton FEs X X X X Vote dummies X X X X Time Trends X X Note: OLS coefficients with 95 per cent confidence interval in squared brackets; standard errors are clustered at the cantonal level.
  • 14. • Given that it has already become their preferred mode of voting, i- voting for expatriates has been a relative success story • Preaching to the converted? • Hopes of turnout boosts may not materialize, but the jury is still out • There are plans to broaden the roll-out • I-voting for all expatriates by the 2015 federal elections • Some non-pilot cantons want to include residents in their experiments • Despite its relative success, and despite extension plans, online voting is under fire from multiple angles Conclusion 19

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