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Close call Swiss court dismisses calls for TV/radio vote recount

The changes to the public radio and television funding system was voted in by a slim margin of 3,696 votes


The Swiss Federal Court has rejected calls for a recount of the June vote to reform Switzerland’s public radio and television funding system -  the closest ever in Swiss history. 

On Wednesday the Lausanne-based court threw out appeals by four Swiss German citizens who had called for a recount of the extremely close June 14 vote result on reforming the country’s public radio and television funding system. 

In what turned out to be the closest ever nationwide vote, 50.08% of voters backed a reform that would ensure that all households and businesses pay a slightly lower licence fee, whether they use public radio and television services or not. The winning margin was a mere 3,696 votes of a total 2,253,042 cast, on June 14. 

Following the vote the cantonal governments of Basel-Country and Zurich rejected calls by the four Swiss citizens for a recount. They therefore took their case to the Federal Court. 

In its decision on Wednesday, the court modified an earlier legal precedent, made six years ago relating to a close vote on the adoption of the biometric passport. This constituted an irregularity under the federal law on politics rights and could justify a recount. 

The court declared that a recount could not go ahead if the result of the vote was merely close but there had to be specific evidence of voting irregularities. 

In the case of the June 14 vote all Lausanne judges unanimously agreed that there had not been any irregularities to influence the result. and agencies

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