Cantons are responsible for staging elections. They organise the voting process, send out electoral material and perform various monitoring activities, such as validating electoral lists. On election day, they collect results from polling stations, publish them and communicate them to the Federal Chancellery.
The communes generally run the polling stations. They are responsible for appointing tellers to count votes at the polling stations, and for bringing the ballot boxes to the premises. On the day of the election, the communes ensure that votes are counted correctly and provide the results to the cantons.
The Federal Chancellery ensures that elections run smoothly and participates in the electoral process at various points:
It distributes National Council seats among the cantons.
It informs the cantons of the provisions in force and the procedures to follow in the National Council election.
It checks the lists of candidates the cantons have sent, ensuring that no candidate appears on a candidate list in more than one canton.
It draws up the explanatory notes for the National Council election.
On election day, it provides regularly updated results on ch.ch.
In cantons with at least two seats in the National Council, the political parties and electoral groups nominate their candidates and draw up lists to be submitted to voters. A person must appear on one of these lists in order to be elected.
This works differently in cantons with only one seat. In these cantons voters receive either a blank ballot or a ballot with the names of all registered candidates.