Virginie Duby-Muller, vice-president of our movement and Member of Parliament for Haute-Savoie, pleads for electronic voting to be implemented in order to fight against abstention.
The departmental and regional elections have shown to what extent our traditional methods of election are no longer adapted to the expectations of citizens. When only one in three French people go to the polls, we can no longer be satisfied with blaming the lack of good citizenship. Especially when we note that abstention reaches 87% among 18-25 year olds.
It is therefore urgent to work on reliable remote electronic voting solutions, which more than three quarters of French people demand. Good news, France is one of the pioneers who decided to move forward on the subject.
In parallel with the regional ones, another election used remote electronic voting: that of advisers and consular delegates of French people living abroad. Our fellow citizens living outside France were able to vote either at the ballot box (which 2% of them did) or electronically (for 13% of them). Turnout may seem low, but it remained almost at the same level as in the 2014 consular elections, where participation in France in the regional elections in the second round fell by nearly 25 points between 2015 and this year.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs succeeded in organizing the ballot spread over 130 electoral constituencies without technical problems or contestation. But a new method is needed to generalize such an experiment. The consular vote was based on a private service provider whose voting solution was never made public. Under these conditions, it is not possible to guarantee total security since we deprive ourselves of the external gaze of experts, nor the confidence of citizens due to the lack of transparency.
Transparency. Voting software is not a trivial service that can be entrusted to an independent private actor. The scandal surrounding the distribution of professions of faith should alert us. The architecture of a voting system has even more important consequences. An electronic voting system is in preparation for the 11 legislative constituencies of French people living abroad in 2022. Eleven deputies able to tip the scales on a law, or even the political color of the government!
Sovereign electronic voting must be open and free of rights (open source). The security and confidentiality issues of electronic voting are crucial and complex and no existing solution meets all the criteria. It is essential to secure all operations, from data hosting to audit, ensuring anonymity and verifiability. This does not prevent experiments, but when it comes to a sovereign vote, total transparency is essential.
An ambitious public investment plan is needed. The amounts mobilized so far are derisory. Such an investment plan will be quickly amortized, especially if we compare it to the recurring cost of the paper vote (180 million euros for the organization of the presidential election, excluding campaign costs, including 40 for the cost of proxies alone, estimates the Senate). It is up to the State to initiate a collective, transparent and shared project so that we can build the democracy of tomorrow together.