Voting

For the next votation round, Zürich has implemented electronic voting. The implementation seems reasonable, you connect to a web server with https, and give in an identifier and a PIN that are given out in the voting documents. The PIN is written on the same hidden scratch documents you get for the PINs of credit cards.

While being able to vote via internet is convenient, it does not really make the process that much faster. The problem is, this is not about choosing between the black or the old guy. This round in Zürich, there were 17 questions: 5 at the federal level, 5 for the canton, 4 question for the city and 3 lists to elect people for various low level administrations. Questions ranged from criminal law on pædophilia to budgets for tramway lines. I was certainly thankful I could go over those question from home, with the ability to look up stuff on the internet and drink tea. I could not help thinking of this sinfest comic:

The situation is such, that in the French speaking part of Switzerland, the word “votation” is used to describe the act of voting on a bundle of questions. Very common in Switzerland, the word is never used in France. So while the word is not technically an Helvetism (it exists in official dictionaries), de facto it is.

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