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Who is entitled to vote?

All Swiss citizens who have reached the age of majority are entitled to vote and participate in elections. Some cantons grant voting rights to other people as well.

Voting rights at federal level

If you are 18 or older, have Swiss citizenship and are not under guardianship due to a long-term lack of capacity, you can take part in votes at federal level and elections to the National Council. You can also launch and sign initiatives and requests for referendums at federal level.

Voting for the first time

You do not have to register specifically to take part in federal votes. As soon as you become entitled to vote, your commune of residence will automatically register you on its electoral roll. On the other hand, the Swiss abroad must register with the competent Swiss representation.

Voting rights of the Swiss living abroad

Swiss citizens living abroad are entitled to vote and participate in elections at federal level. In certain cantons, they are also entitled to vote and participate in elections at cantonal level.

Voting rights of Swiss citizens living abroad

Voting rights of dual nationals

Are Swiss citizens who also have another nationality entitled to vote? Dual nationality has not affect your voting rights. Dual nationals can vote and participate in elections, unless other reasons prevent them from doing so.

Voting rights of minors in the canton of Glarus

Although you have to be 18 or older to vote at federal level, each canton is free to give minors voting rights on its territory. Currently Glarus is the only canton to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote on cantonal and communal issues. Citizens of Glarus cannot, however run for government office until they are 18 or older.

Voting rights of foreign nationals

Foreign nationals do not have the right to vote at federal level. However, in some cantons, they do have the right to vote in cantonal and communal ballots.

Voting rights of foreign nationals in Switzerland
Where do I vote, and when?