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Cutting red tape for expatriate voting rights

Swiss expats can cast their vote by postal mail since 1992 Reuters

The government has come out in favour of simplifying the procedure for Swiss expatriates who wish to take part in nationwide votes and elections.

The cabinet agreed to support a proposal by a parliamentary committee which aims to waive the four-year renewal of applications.

Instead the committee says registration for future votes should follow on automatically after Swiss abroad have taken part in a nationwide ballot.

“The proposal no doubt makes it easier for the Swiss abroad to exercise their democratic rights,” a statement by the Federal Chancellery said.

There are currently about 700,000 expatriates – mainly in neighbouring France, Germany and Italy, but also in North America.

About 130,000 have currently registered to take part in votes and elections in Switzerland.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR