Online elections

The Internet has revolutionised communication, but presently there are very strong arguments of electoral legislation and practice against casting votes online in Bundestag or European elections.

Above all, it has to be considered that at least at the time being the constitutional principles of electoral legislation, that is general, free and secret elections, cannot be sufficiently guaranteed in an Internet election. Though it seems possible from the aspect of information technology in particular to maintain the secrecy of online voting, this would require a disproportionate effort and, considering the state of the art of technology, rules out the use of private PCs.

The casting of votes and the establishment of the election result would become non-transparent and be beyond the control of those entitled to vote to an extent which would undermine the electorate’s confidence in the proper conduct of the election. At present, checking mechanisms which can be understood by those entitled to vote – like obtaining ocular evidence by watching the votes being counted in the polling station – are presently not in sight for Internet processes.

However, in its Decision of 3 March 2009 (ref. nos.: 2 BvC 3/07 and 2 BvC 4/07), the Federal Constitutional Court did not, in principle, rule out Internet elections.

Last update: 1 August 2015