- European parliament hearing reveals concerns about disenfranchisement of overseas voters due to outdated voting systems
29/06/2016 — BRUSSELS — (BUSINESS WIRE)
At a public meeting in the European Parliament, experts, campaigners and politicians called for action to ensure overseas voters can participate fully in elections, including the 2019 European Elections.
Smartmatic shared its experience of providing online voting systems around the world. Mike Summers, programme manager for Smartmatic, the world’s leading provider of voting technology said; “Technology could enable overseas voters to cast their ballots easily. Internet voting is a proven, safe and secure method that helps boost turnout. We know this works from our experience of delivering internet voting systems around the world.”
At the event, campaigners underlined the connection between inconvenient voting processes and decreased voter participation. Reports of British voters living overseas being unable to vote in last week’s EU referendum due to missing and late arriving postal ballots highlighted how expats’ participation is undermined.
According to Summers, “In the EU Referendum last week too many overseas voters were unable to have their say due to reliance on outdated systems. That must change and lessons should be learned. The technology exists to help empower voters wherever they live.”
The experience across the EU varies depending on country:
- In Estonia internet voting with binding results has been carried out eight times. In the 2014 European Parliament election, votes were cast from 98 countries.
- France, with over 2.5 million citizens living abroad, is the only EU member state where overseas voters can vote online for their representatives in the National Assembly.
- Several countries, including Lithuania, Bulgaria and Finland are currently considering the introduction of internet voting.
Notes to editors
The I-voting Conference took place in the European Parliament on 29th June from 15.00 -18.30. A webstream of the event is available here – http://ecrgroup.eu/I-Voting/
Founded in the USA in 2000, Smartmatic is the leading provider of voting technologies and solutions worldwide. Today, out of the eight countries pioneering election automation Smartmatic provides solutions to six of them. Partnering with Estonian R&D Lab Cybernetica, Smartmatic helped develop and deliver Estonia’s Internet voting system and also export it around the globe. Smartmatic has managed elections across five continents, processing over 3.7 billion votes. For information visit www.smartmatic.com
Alice Macdonald, 0044 7525149995
Communications and Public Afffairs Director
INDUSTRY KEYWORDS: Other Government,Public Policy/Government,Security,Internet,Technology,