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Cantonal votes Ticino’s expat Swiss lose local voting rights

Vote officials emptying a ballot box with blue envelopes

Under the constitutional amendment, about 3,000 Swiss citizens from Ticino will lose their local voting rights.

(Samuel Golay/Ti-Press)

Voters in Ticino have decided to adapt the law on political rights, extending the deadline for the collection of signatures in cantonal initiatives and referendums. At the same time, expatriate Swiss with Ticino origins risk losing their local voting rights. 

Nearly 76% of voters in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino approved an overhaul of the political rights on Sunday.

It foresees extending the period of time granted to collect signatures for people’s initiatives and challenges of laws from 60 to 100 days and from 45 to 60 days respectively.

Under the new law it will be possible to submit alternative proposals for amendments to the constitution. It also speeds up the procedure for people’s initiative.

E voting

The legislation paves the way for the introduction of e-voting for expatriate Swiss from Ticino.

However, the new rules curb local voting rights for expats who were residents in another Swiss canton before leaving Switzerland. Those expats who never live in Ticino are not affected by the reform.

Officials estimate that around 3,000 Ticino expatriates therefore no longer be able to participate in local votes.

Those still eligible to take part in such votes will have to register with the Swiss diplomatic missions of their country of residence. with input from Sonia Fenazzi

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