Hermes Digital Democracy Unit is a special interest group in Hermes dealing with the models and tools of digital democracy. As in other fields in which Hermes operates, our approach is based on the balance between technological and social aspects, considering therefore not only the opportunities of new technologies but also their risks.
Hermes DDU was born as a result of the actions taken for the referendum on Lombardy’s autonomy in 2017 when was introduced large-scale electronic voting in an entire Italian region by Lega Nord and Movimento 5 Stelle. Although the result of the electronic voting process was clearly a failure, for the technological management, the communication of the results and more generally the transparency of the process, unfortunately the national press did not adequately elaborate on the problem. This is not a problem connected only to the technological dimension of electronic voting but essentially concerns the public nature of the electoral process.
Hermes has also published the “Hermes Guide to Electronic Voting” (in Italian), a very accessible introduction to the problems of democratic voting and problems in the introduction of digital voting tools or electronic scrutiny.
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