Swiss democracy is a semi-direct democracy, which means that Swiss citizens vote directly for their government but also have the right to vote through referendums on modifications on the constitution and on new laws to be accepted.
This means that Swiss democracy is an active practice. “Approximately four times a year, voting occurs over various issues; these include both initiatives and referendums, where policies are directly voted on by people, and elections, where the populace votes for officials.”
Although citizens can have influence in a lot of state and local matters, voter turnout in Switzerland is below average in the worldwide rankings. Especially under naturalized Swiss citizens, voting turnout is low.
This might be caused by the fact that it takes 10 years before new Swiss residents are allowed to vote. In this long period, people have built their lives without getting used to Swiss democracy practices and a majority simply lost interest in politics.
In an effort to solve this, Baloti is developed that will be used to engage the large group of Swiss residents that have not acquired voting rights yet.
Baloti will be used by residents that have not acquired their citizenship yet. This way, even without voting rights, they can learn and experience Swiss democracy.
Baloti can even give them an unofficial, but clear and transparent voice while at the same time getting them involved in the democratic process from day one.
Electis and Tezos
Baloti integrates Electis, an open source next-generation voting system built on Tezos.
“The results of e-voting elections on the Electis.app are immutably recorded through a smart-contract on the Tezos blockchain, a decentralized, public blockchain that evolves by upgrading itself through on-chain governance, adding a further level of transparency and security to e-voting systems.”
After a long development process, which included successful test cases by 80 leading global universities, Electis was approved for real-live democratic applications.
“The adoption of Electis.app by students from more than 80 leading global universities confirms that the Electis.app e-voting solution meets the requirements of trust and usability for local governments, organizations, and non-profits across the globe. Electis.app is powered by the Tezos blockchain and open-source SDK ElectionGuard.”
Electis is currently used in the democratic process in France, where it is integrated in a voting application in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris where it is introduced from small-scale to larger scale election events within the municipality. The NeuillyVote application has been live since October 12th this year.
With this second project, this time in Switzerland, Electis is building an unprecedented and revolutionary voting solution that utilizes the Tezos public blockchain.
Improving accessibility and making it easier to vote, will increase the participation of citizens in the democratic process. But more importantly, the development of an immutable and at the same time transparent voting mechanism will increase trust in the democratic process. Electis and Tezos can play a huge role in this worldwide effort to bring democracy to the next level.