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parliamentary elections The disappearing ritual of voting at the ballot box

In a democracy, the precise moment when you cast your vote is a special one. But as more people vote online or by mail, physically going to the polls is becoming rare. looks back at this (almost) bygone ritual of voting at the ballot box.  

Parliamentary elections will take place in a few days. As is the case every four years, Swiss citizens are invited to vote for new members of both chambers of parliament. And while this political event is unlikely to change, the way in which votes are cast is not the same as it used to be.

In the past, the expression “going to the polls” was taken literally. Citizens went to their polling place, often at a local school or municipal office, and deposited their ballots.  

This civic moment was also a special time that included heated encounters and debates, often over drinks.

These scenes have become rarer. Voting is now more commonly done by slipping your ballot in a mailbox. Vote by mail is widespread in much of the country. For example, in Geneva some 95% of citizens vote by mail. And in the future, if security issues are resolved, elections may be conducted online via e-votingexternal link.

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