Handraising assigned to history books

Senators put their hands up for the final time in a vote before switching over to electronic balloting Keystone

A show of hands in the Senate became a thing of the past on Friday. As of the next parliamentary session, starting in March 2014, senators will vote electronically on the issues of the day, instead of raising their hands to show agreement.

This content was published on December 13, 2013 - 12:09 and agencies

The last vote to be decided by the number of hands raised was on financing for the Gotthard and Lötschberg tunnels. From next year the number of votes for and against will be recorded automatically as the senators press buttons on voting devices, instead of being tallied up by a vote counter.

The decision taken in March to modernise the voting system came after a number of emotional discussions in previous years.

Many politicians feared the publication of how each person voted would put too much pressure on them. This information will only be made public after complete and final ballots.

The traditional show of hands will now only be seen if the electronic system breaks down.

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