Swiss embassies to deliver voting papers to some expats in trial

Keystone / Peter Klaunzer

Around 800 Swiss citizens living in Australia, Brazil and Thailand will receive their voting papers through their embassies as part of a trial to test how well the system works.  

This content was published on April 23, 2021 - 16:08

The voting papers will be sent via diplomatic courier to the respective embassies and forwarded to voters via the local postal service. Only those eligible to vote in the cantons of Aargau, Ticino and Geneva will be part of the pilot project for the June 13 vote, said the government in an announcement on Friday.  

Their experiences will be recorded via a survey and compared with a similar number of Swiss expats in these three countries who will receive their voting papers via international post as is the current norm.  

“These voters will be asked when they received their voting papers and when they cast their votes. The cantons will also record when these votes cast abroad arrived at the polling stations in the communes concerned,” said the government.  

The move comes after repeated complaints by the Swiss Abroad of disenfranchisement caused by delays in international post. The delays meant that some expats did not receive their voting papers early enough to be able to vote.  

“A comparison of the two means of delivery should provide information on the effectiveness and cost of the alternative delivery method,” said the government. 

The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad welcomed the  pilot project but deemed it a transitional solution. In its view, e-voting remains the only way for all Swiss citizens to exercise their political rights correctly and on time.

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