OSA advice

The news has just shown a Swiss citizen returning from abroad who was able to vote twice in the recent popular vote. How has this come about?

It is quite true that a Swiss citizen returning from abroad received two lots of voting papers for the ballot held on 8 March 2015: they were sent to his address abroad and then to his new address following his move back to Switzerland, after the voting papers had already been received abroad. In this regard, it should be noted that Swiss citizens living abroad must inform the Swiss office (embassy or consulate) where they are registered of any change of address. When people return to the country after the voting papers have been sent abroad, it can happen that the papers are received twice. However, it is illegal and an offence punishable under criminal law to vote twice on the same matter. This constitutes electoral fraud under article 282 of the Swiss Criminal Code. People who receive voting papers twice therefore only have the right to vote once. A criminal offence is otherwise committed.

Legal Department of the OSA

The OSA’s Legal Department provides general information on Swiss law in the areas which specifically concern the Swiss Abroad. It does not provide information on foreign law or intervene in disputes between private parties.

Comments (0)

Write new comment

Comments are approved within one to three days. The editorial team reserves the right not to publish discriminatory, racist, defamatory or inflammatory comments. Our detailed comment rules are available here.

Samir came to Switzerland from Iraq at the age of six. That was in 1961. He is today one of Switzerland’s best-known film directors. Around ten years...

Read more

Economists believe the Swiss National Bank’s decision to abandon its policy of pegging the Swiss franc to the euro was swayed by a fear of losing...

Read more

In June the Swiss women will take part in the World Cup for the first time in the history of football. Yet this success has not brought them much...

Read more

Immigration is the biggest political bone of contention in Switzerland this year. For immigrants already here, how Switzerland envisages integration...

Read more

Georg Kohler, a professor emeritus of political philosophy at the University of Zurich, is conducting political observation and analysis on behalf of...

Read more

Auslandschweizer Organisation
Alpenstrasse 26
3006 Bern, Schweiz

tel +41 31 356 61 10
fax +41 31 356 61 01