Never fill out a ballot paper for another person. This constitutes a criminal offence known in Switzerland as ‹vote catching›. You risk a fine. In certain cantons there are exceptions to this rule: where a voter is permanently unable to write, another person can complete their ballot paper. The procedure and the requirements vary depending on the canton.
Vote catching is also defined as systematically collecting, completing or altering ballot papers, or distributing ballot papers which have been completed or altered in this way.
Anyone who tampers with election or voting results or breaches voting secrecy faces a fine or imprisonment of up to three years. Some forms of election fraud and bribery are described below.
Tampering with the electoral roll
Only persons who are registered on the electoral roll of a commune may participate in an election or vote. Anyone who tampers with or destroys the electoral roll renders themselves liable to prosecution.
Stealing official voting papers
Anyone who steals another person's official voting papers and uses them to vote or elect renders themselves liable to prosecution.
Caution when moving house
If you move, you could, in exceptional cases, receive your official voting papers both at your old and your new residence. You may, however, only vote once. Return the additional voting papers to your previous commune of residence.
All voters must be free to decide how they want to vote and who they want to elect, and whether they want to vote at all. The Swiss Criminal Code prohibits bribery: Anyone who pays someone, or who accepts pay, to vote certain way, or to take part in the election or vote at all, renders themselves liable to prosecution. The same applies in the case of gifts as well as violence or threats.
The votes must be correctly recorded and counted. The law expressly prohibits the addition, omission, alteration or miscounting of ballot papers in polling stations. It is also expressly forbidden to falsely certify an election or voting result.
Anyone who finds out by unlawful means who has voted for whom or for what, renders themselves liable to prosecution. However, you may say how you voted yourself.
The authorities themselves can report irregularities in votes and elections. Private citizens can also file a report orally or in writing at a police station. It is also possible to make a complaint to the cantonal prosecution service.