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Biometric passes divide voters

Next month's nationwide vote on the introduction of biometric passports could be close, according to a poll published on Wednesday.

The poll, carried out by the gfs.berne research and polling institute for the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, swissinfo’s parent company, shows that 47 per cent of voters think they will vote in favour of the new passports on May 17, while 39 per cent are against them and 14 per cent are undecided.

The poll found that voting intentions cut across party lines, but that the higher a voter’s income, the more likely they were to favour the change.

Opponents of biometric passports are concerned that they will enable the state to snoop into citizens’ private affairs, while supporters say they will make travel easier and safer.

Citizens will also be asked to decide whether alternative medicine – such as homeopathy and Chinese medicine – should be covered by compulsory medical assurance. The gfs poll found that two thirds of voters were planning to vote in favour, while 18 per cent were still undecided, and only 15 per cent were likely to vote against.

The poll showed that turnout at the vote is likely to be 35 per cent.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR