The Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers to member States on legal, operational and technical standards for e-voting was adopted on 30 September 2004. It became rapidly a reference for Council of Europe States that introduce or envisage introducing e-voting. Being the only international instrument to legally regulate e-voting, the Recommendation has also been referenced by other organisations and countries outside the region.
In the light of e-voting practical experiences, it was rapidly felt that the Recommendation needed some adjustments. Two sets of Guidelines were adopted offering practical tools to facilitate the implementation of the recommendations on certification and transparency. Further reflection and experiences brought experts to the conclusion that a formal update is needed which allows for a thorough rethink and redesign of the Recommendation in the light of today's understanding of e-voting.
The main arguments in favour of an update include lessons learned by experimenting with e-voting or by observing it, critical assessments of the Recommendation as well as technology developments. After considering the implications of a non-update, we recommend a revision in line with the needs resulting from the e-voting development since 2004. The revision must ensure that the Recommendation is up-to-date, balanced and responsive to ongoing developments. A revised Recommendation would allow the Council of Europe to maintain its position as a recognised and cutting-edge actor in the field of e-voting.