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How to vote in the National Council elections in the cantons of Obwalden and Nidwalden

The cantons of Obwalden and Nidwalden each have one seat in the National Council. When is there a tacit election? When is a vote held and how must ballot papers be filled in?

The cantons of Obwalden and Nidwalden have a first-past-the-post electoral system. This means that the candidate who receives the greatest number of votes is elected. However, a vote is not always necessary to decide who is elected:

  • If only one valid candidacy is submitted by the deadline, the election is tacit. There is no need for a vote to be held.
  • If more than one valid candidacy is submitted by the deadline, a vote must be held. How is this done?

How do I vote? The procedure step by step

  • The ballot paper

    You must use the pre-printed ballot paper sent by post with the official election papers. All the official National Council election candidates in the canton are on this ballot paper.

    Voting materials

  • Filling in the ballot paper

    • Choose only one candidate from the pre-printed official list.
    • Put a cross in the box next to the candidate selected.


  • Rules for casting a valid vote

    For your vote to be valid, make sure you:

    • use the official ballot paper, sent with the official voting papers;
    • choose only one candidate whose name has been pre-printed;
    • put a cross in the box by hand;
    • do not mark the ballot paper in any other way;
    • follow the instructions given by your commune and your canton
  • What do I do after filling in the ballot paper?

    In the canton of Nidwalden, put your completed ballot paper in the official voting envelope and sign the polling card. In the canton of Obwalden, sign the polling card.
    You can then:

    • go straight to the ballot box. The polling station opening times and addresses are sent with the official voting papers.
    • vote by post or put the return envelope in the appropriate letterbox in your commune :
      - In Nidwalden, put the official voting envelope in the return envelope together with the signed polling card. 
      - In Obwalden, put the polling card in the window section of the return envelope. Put the ballot paper in the section without a window in the same envelope.
    • Vote on time: observe the postal deadlines (if voting by post) and your local polling station opening hours (if voting at the ballot box).
    • Follow the rules and guidelines provided with the official voting papers sent by your canton and your commune.
  • Information

    For further information on how to fill in the ballot paper, please contact the authority responsible in your canton or your commune.