How to vote the Swiss way

November 25, 2020, 1 Comment

The Swiss vote. A lot. But most of those votes are in referendums every few months, whereas elections are every four years. Probably just as well given that it’s possibly the world’s most complicated voting system. So much so that I made a video explaining how it works.

This is my first Swiss election so I should point out that as soon as I became Swiss, I was registered to vote. Simple as that. And voting by post is the norm here, though I can do it in person on Sunday if I want.

This time there were referendums to vote on (of course) and they were all a simple yes or no. Alongwith those papers, I got all the material for the elections: mayor, government and parliament, and that’s where it gets interesting.

Mayor is a simple either/or choice but the five seats in government and the 80 in parliament are more complicated: I get 5 votes and 80 votes respectively. Not only that, I can create my own list, strike out names, add in names or mix and match across lists.

I can make it easy and vote for one list with no changes, or I can do my own thing. Either way, my votes go in the envelope and get sent back to be counted – but they must arrive by 12 noon on Saturday. I can’t be late: this is Switzerland, after all.

One Comment on "How to vote the Swiss way"

  1. Ruth Murray Wednesday November 25th, 2020 at 07:37 PM · Reply

    Having just watched your YouTube explanations on voting in Switzerland I understand why we as expats are not permitted to vote on local matters. It is sometimes difficult enough to make a good decision on national referendums when you are removed from the daily happenings back home!
    May I just say that I know a lot more about my home country since I read your book “Swiss Watching” (much enjoyed). I have lived in the UK for 60 years but spend regular holidays back in Switzerland. And well done on becoming a Swiss citizen!
    Best wishes.
    Ruth Murray

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