Can U.S. Elections Be Decidedly Accurate,
Cost Far Less, and Run Like Clockwork?
Swiss Voting System Report Says "Yes!"
Basel, Switzerland – Weeks before U.S. presidential voting, cries of potential fraud and deep concern about honest tabulation of votes ran rampant in both Republican and Democrat camps. Must an election – be it for President of the United States or President of a labor union – be clouded by charges and counter charges, lost votes, inaccuracy, equipment malfunctions, and a widespread lack of confidence in the process?
According to Beat Fehr, CEO of Swiss Voting System, it doesn’t have to be this way. His company’s Swiss Voting System Report offers a complete solution to these issues, and, according to Fehr, can save American governments millions of dollars. "The cost in the U.S., per voter, ranges from $25 to $40," Fehr notes. "Using the practices our report describes, it is very possible to match the Swiss cost of $2 per voter. That could be one-twentieth of the cost. Multiply that by thousands or millions of voters, and it’s easy to see how the savings can be monumental. And if you have results that all parties view with complete confidence, you are achieving the best of all possible outcomes."
Swiss Voting System expended over 1,500 hours of time studying the electoral system of Switzerland, creating a document that provides an overview of best-practice processes and gives detailed instructions on how to implement Swiss concepts, guidelines and standards to the benefit of any election. Cost effectiveness, descriptions of procedures, price calculations and logistics for complete elections are included. In essence, the report takes the wisdom of the Swiss voting system and creates a compact, yet comprehensive and highly utilitarian guide.
Swiss Voting System, a privately held company, is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland and draws on Fehr’s extensive background in voting systems and computer expertise.
No Lines, No Issues, No Controversy
The Swiss, famed for accuracy and reliability in watches, banking services, and pocket knives, also take their voting very seriously. They go to the polls often – four to six times per year – to cast ballots on issues ranging from changes in the federal constitution to whether to build another parking garage at a local level.
In the Swiss system of voting –
Over time, as Fehr and his team learned, the Swiss have come as close to a system of voting perfection as anyone. The essence of the system, described completely in the Swiss Voting System Freedom of Voting Report, focuses on voter choice between in-person voting and mail ballots. This "voter freedom" has led to significant increases in the percentage of eligible adults voting in Switzerland. Color-coded paper ballots are utilized and designed in a manner making mistakes almost impossible.
"In Switzerland, we changed our system 20 years ago, and now 60% of the rural population and up to 96% of city resident vote by mail," says Fehr. "If the government switched back to only allowing poll-based voting, it’s estimated that turnout rates would decline to as low as 20%." Most importantly, the people of Switzerland express complete confidence in the process and results.
"What is more crucial to a democracy than the faith of the people in the correct execution of an election? The secrecy of the ballot, unimpeachable results… this authenticity is critical and when it’s lacking, the doubt, anger, and conflict that can erupt shake the foundation of the system," says Fehr. "It’s of utmost importance that results be accepted and trusted by election supervisors, representatives and the general public."
Savings for Every Level of Election
The added advantage of the Swiss Voting System is a significant slashing of electoral costs. "Our report outlines how easily achievable these savings are in clear text and graphics, explaining all the processes involved and how to create them, such as paper ballot design, vote tabulation, cost calculations, proper transmission of election results and so on," Fehr says. "These guidelines are enriched with facts, figures and real-world examples for easy implementation."
Asked if it might not be presumptuous for someone from Switzerland to be advising the United States on electoral matters, Fehr offers this counterpoint. "Why would anyone not want to emulate time-tested and proven best practices from a respected democracy? In the past two years the United States has spent over four billion dollars to enhance voting systems under the Help America Vote Act. Yet many people are still unhappy with the results and do not have faith in how these renovations will work. There is distrust of electronic voting machines, especially. Any official who obtains our report can eliminate these issues with a far more effective, accurate, timely and cost-effective solution. And I have to believe that every American wants his or her vote to be counted, processed, and accurately reported in the final election results."
Fehr trusts that his report will be an invaluable asset for anyone, especially government personnel, involved in the election process – ranging from local to state to federal levels. "If you are a Secretary of State, an Attorney General, on an electoral board, or the person who designs ballots, the Swiss Voting Guide Report provides very specific and process-tested solutions and answers that can help you achieve the kind of accuracy and savings that Switzerland has achieved," Fehr says.
The report is available for purchase online at the Swiss Voting System Web site for a cost of $490. U.S. The company also offers a Swiss Voting System certification process and provides consultation services for election processes. Swiss Voting System is composed of a dynamic, multicultural team of engineers, political scientists, lawyers, international business specialists and programmers. CEO Fehr was challenged to develop a foolproof e-voting system in 1999, and his subsequent research led to many of the conclusions that are stated in the company’s report.
For more information and contact with CEO Beat Fehr:
Phone (from the U.S.) 011-41-616-430-078. (Please note: Swiss time is six hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Time. For example, at 10:15 am in New York it is 4:15 pm in Switzerland.) or Cell Phone +41-763-499-998 at any time.
The company’s Web site address iswww.swissvs.org.
The mailing address is:
Swiss Voting System
A Privately Held Company AG
High-resolution JPEG photos – suitable for print reproduction – of
CEO Fehr, the Swiss Voting System Report, and a graphic of Swiss Voting System Certification Symbol are available upon request.