The Committee on the Requirements of the Vote in Democracy (CRVD) is a committee of citizens (technologists, lawyers, politicians, journalists and activists). The group closely tracks the link between new technologies and their democratic implications. It was founded in 2018 when a major national electoral force (M5S) chose to place electronic voting at the center of its populist campaign proposal. CRVD arranged itself as a documentation and analysis center on the issues of democratic voting requirements and collaborated with other national and international organizations. The CRVD has translated in full the ruling on e-voting of the German Constitutional Court, has participated in the drafting of the HERMES Guide to e-voting and actively participates in the public debate with interventions and articles.
THE MOTION ON ELECTRONIC VOTING
Civil rights and political rights evolve in quality, number and type. Economic globalization is the source and the consequence of the evolution of Rights. Nation-states are no longer sufficient either to uphold Law or to protect the Rule of Law. In person or through their representatives, citizens are called to act in the transnational processes of democracy to safeguard or innovate institutions.
Democracy is founded on an exclusive and inalienable principle: its processes must be public. Every citizen, even if he or she does not possess specialized skills, must have the possibility to verify and control processes, methods and results. This is true first and foremost in the most basic and decisive act of democracy, which is the electoral act.
Since 1998 Germany has been experimenting with electronic voting with satisfaction; from success to success the experiment was extended to the political elections for the national parliament (Bundestag) and the European Parliament in 2005 when, with a complaint by two citizens, the Constitutional Court was finally invoked to establish the legality of electronic procedures. The ruling (March 3, 2009) was drastic. Electronic voting violates the fundamental requirement of democracy, that is, the public nature of voting. Citizens, whether voters or polling station operators, and the general public are deprived of the fundamental right to know and verify the process that leads to the proclamation of those elected. Even Norway and Holland, after extensive experimentation, have discontinued any application of electronic voting. In Estonia, it has been recognized that the current online system, with which over 30% of votes are cast, has serious architectural limitations and procedural shortcomings that jeopardize the very integrity of the elections. In Venezuela, according to the same company that managed the electronic vote, the elections for the Constituent Assembly on July 30, 2017 were burdened by government fraud. This allowed the legitimization of the violent and undemocratic regime and eliminated the opposition. Just as Marco Pannella warned, “where there is slaughter of legality and law there is slaughter of peoples,” that particular election is responsible for one of the greatest humanitarian and democratic crises of our time. In Italy in October 2017 the referendum on autonomy, managed by the Lombardy Region had obvious problems and yet the companies providing the voting machines managed to prevent access to information crucial to verify the correctness of the electoral operations and the completeness of the polls.
The necessary passage to the transnationality of Rights and the Rule of Law is based on the Right to Knowledge. Wishing for the introduction in the UN Charter of Human Rights, the Right to Knowledge is the basis of new continental institutions such as the United States of Europe, which are not just another bureaucracy in the hands of national governments. Embodied in the paper ballot is the experience to be defended of an existing and living human right to knowledge.
The Committee for the Requirements of Voting in Democracy (CRVD) engages its organs and members in a campaign of awareness and defense of the paper vote as an instrument for the defense of the Right to Knowledge, and to this end promotes a League of citizens and associations to denounce the unconstitutionality of electronic voting.
Join us to make sure that a potential introduction of e-voting will take place in accordance with the rights of citizens and minorities, with the utmost respect for the law and the Constitution, without reckless leaps in the dark that could undermine Italian democracy.
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