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Political rights

The political rights in Switzerland comprise participation in elections and votes as well as in popular initiatives, referendums and petitions.

Voting rights are also available to all Swiss Abroad. In addition to the active voting right just specified, they also have the passive right to vote. That means that a Swiss Abroad may also stand for election to the National Council and Council of States as well as to the Federal Council and the Federal Court. These political rights are guaranteed by the Swiss Abroad Act.

Elections and voting

All Swiss Abroad registered with a Swiss representation may register to exercise their political rights. To do so, complete this application form and send it to the relevant Swiss representation (embassy or consulate). Please also note the cantonal differences.

If you move during your stay abroad, you must not forget to notify your Swiss representation, even if you stay within the same consular district. The consular districts and the competent Swiss representations are specified on the FDFA website (Swiss representations abroad, country selection).

Additional information:

The voting documents will be dispatched by postal mail; they must also be returned to Switzerland by post. Voting by e-voting is currently not or no longer possible.

What to do in the event of delivery problems or late delivery of documents is explained on our Voting problems page.

Popular initiatives, referendums and petitions

Swiss Abroad may request voting material directly from the initiative or referendum committee and then add their signature.

Explanation of political rights at ch.ch

Polling commune

Your electoral commune is your last place of residence in Switzerland. Swiss citizens who have never resided in Switzerland vote in their commune of origin.

Dual citizenship

A dual national is able to take part in elections and vote on federal matters in the same way as a person with just Swiss citizenship. Nevertheless, we would like to draw your attention to the fact that in certain countries voting abroad leads to the loss of that country’s citizenship. Related information is available from your local Swiss representation.

Additional information:

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