Smartmatic shares expertise as calls made to provide online voting for European expats

Brussels, Belgium - June 29, 2016– 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to Summers, ‘ In the EU Referendum last week too many overseas voters were unable to have their say due to reliance on outdated systems.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.

The i-voting conference 2016 took place in the European Parliament. A video of the event  is available here -