Who can sign a federal popular initiative, and how are signatures checked?
A popular initiative allows citizens to participate in the political process. Signing a popular initiative is subject to some regulations.
Who can sign a federal popular initiative?
Anyone who is entitled to vote in Switzerland can sign an initiative – including Swiss citizens who live abroad.
Swiss people living abroad may sign popular initiatives if they are at least 18 years old and are registered at the embassy of the country where they reside
What are the rules for signing initiatives: conditions
The people who collect signatures for initiatives must comply with certain formal requirements. For example, it is important each sheet on the list only contains signatures of voters from the same commune, since it is primarily the communes that check and validate the signatures. If certain formal requirements are not met, the signatures will be considered as invalid.
Signatures are checked by two authorities:
- The communes check that the signatures are valid. They check whether the people who have signed are registered on the electoral roll and whether anyone has signed more than once.
- The Federal Chancellery checks to make sure the signatures fulfil the legal requirements.
Signing an initiative
When you sign a popular initiative, you should write your surname and your first name legibly by hand on the list, and then add your signature. If you need signature sheets for initiatives that are currently collecting signatures, you can download them from the internet (PDF).