Digital identity: initiators announce legal action

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Has Karin Keller-Sutter spread false information to influence the opinion of the Swiss on digital identity? The referendum committee thinks so. Two weeks before the ballot, attacks are flowing between the two camps, while the latest projections announce neck-to-neck results.

Schaffhausen at the center of the equation

On January 14, Karin Keller-Sutter comes to defend the e-ID project in front of the press. Beside him, Hannes Germann, Schaffhausen senator UDC, present as president of the association of Swiss municipalities, gave a brief speech, then announced the following: “It is known and confirmed that the canton of Schaffhausen would like to present itself as as an identity provider. “

The Federal Councilor takes the ball on the rebound: “The discussion has so far revolved around SwissSign [consortium formé de sociétés proches de l’Etat, d’établissements financiers, de compagnies d’assurances et de caisses maladie qui s’est déjà annoncé prêt à remplir le mandat] but we can see that Schaffhausen is interested and there may even be other cantons. We will therefore have a competition, as we wanted. ”

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The St. Welshwoman seems satisfied: this proves that the opponents’ campaign is wrong. From the start, the latter have indeed insisted on insisting that it is not possible to delegate the sovereign task of identifying citizens to private companies. However, as Schaffhausen is applying, SwissSign can no longer be designated as the sole contender for the throne.

However, things are probably less clear, as revealed by the weekly Schaffhauser AZ this Thursday, taken up by the NZZ on the front page the next day. The project of the northernmost canton of Switzerland is indeed above all theoretical: the cantonal government has not yet decided whether to launch into the race, or even notified its parliament of the thing which, depending on its cost, could have be decided by its deputies.

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Enough to convince Daniel Graf to take legal action in his canton of Basel-City, where he will file an appeal on Monday. One of the main architects of the referendum, the founder of the signature collection site Wecollect, considers that the information, widely reported in the media, represented a “turning point in the campaign”. “An appeal is justified”, underlines the Balois, who believes that in the event of a very close rejection of the referendum, “the chances of a revote would be good”. When contacted, the FDJP did not wish to comment on the complaint “which it does not have”, while stressing that the canton of Schaffhausen “had indeed announced its intention to become a supplier”.

While appeals of this type are more and more common, serious irregularities influencing the ballot decisively must be committed to justify their success. Daniel Graf cites as a glimmer of hope the vote on the taxation of married couples, canceled by the Federal Court in 2019 on the basis of a calculation error contained in the booklet given to the population. However, the case constitutes the only precedent since the birth of the federal state in 1848.