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How do I vote, and where?

How to vote

The official voting papers are sent by your commune directly to your home address at least three weeks before the vote is held. The Federal Council’s explanatory pamphlet on the ballot proposals is also enclosed.

  • You must complete the ballot paper by hand.
  • You must reply YES or NO to the question submitted to the vote (by placing a cross in the relevant box) and if there is a deciding question, put a clear mark next to your chosen answer.
  • If you wish you may also leave your ballot paper blank. Ballot papers which are left blank are counted, recorded separately and taken into account when the voter turnout is calculated.

Where and when to vote

There are three different ways you can vote.

  1. Go in person to the polling station in the commune where you live: take along your voting papers and follow the instructions. You then simply have to place your completed ballot paper into the ballot box (depending on the canton in which you live, you may already have put this in the ballot envelope). Find out in advance from your local communal administration where the polling station is and when it will be open.
  2. Postal voting: use the voting papers sent to you by the commune and follow the instructions provided. Make sure you are aware of the deadline set for posting. NB: in most cantons you have to pay for postage yourself. Many communes provide a letterbox in which you can place your ballot.
    If you are a Swiss citizen living abroad, you are also entitled to vote in Switzerland by post.
  3. Voting online: the online voting system, Vote électronique, is not yet widespread, but e-voting has been offered in some cantons for federal popular votes and cantonal ballots.

If, for some reason, you cannot vote yourself

If you are unable to exercise your right to vote personally, there are special procedures for voting by proxy. The partially sighted and persons who are otherwise unable to complete a voting ballot can receive assistance. To find out more about special voting procedures, please contact your local commune directly.