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Voting for the first time

You are voting for the first time and don’t know how things work. You will find the answers to your questions here.

You have just turned 18 and so are old enough to vote, or you have just become a Swiss citizen. This means you can vote for the first time.

You also have to be at least 18 to vote in cantonal elections and popular votes. The only exception is the canton of Glarus, where 16 and 17-year-olds can also vote in cantonal elections and votes. However, they cannot stand for election.

Who is entitled to vote?

Swiss citizens living abroad must register in order to vote

Swiss citizens living abroad must contact the local Swiss representation and register in their last commune of residence, or, if they have never lived in Switzerland, in their commune of origin, in order to vote in federal elections and popular votes.

Voting rights of Swiss citizens living abroad

People living in Switzerland who are entitled to vote, on the other hand, do not have to do anything in order to vote in the National Council elections and popular votes. They are automatically registered on the electoral roll in their commune of residence as soon as they become eligible to vote.

How do I vote, and where?
Official voting papers
How to complete a ballot paper correctly