OSA PRESS RELEASE: Bern, 25 October 2017 – On Tuesday, 24 October, the governors and state secretaries of the Swiss cantons have received a letter signed by ten federal parliamentarians from the most important political parties, demanding that all Swiss Abroad be able to choose their National Councillors in the 2019 Swiss Federal Elections. The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA), which has been working for years to ensure that the Swiss Abroad are able to use this voting channel, is delighted about this initiative and fully supports it.
No less than ten members of the National and State Council (all members of the Parliamentary Group ‘Swiss Abroad’*) have, on the initiative of National Councillor Tim Guldimann, turned to the governments and state chancery of all Swiss cantons. They demand that in the next Federal elections, the Swiss Abroad who are registered on an electoral roll to exercise their political rights, can elect their representatives in the National Council via the Internet.
The ten co-signatories stated in their letter that “the current state discriminates against our fellow citizens abroad in exercising their political rights. 160,000 of them have registered to participate in elections and votes. ... Swiss Abroad often receive their documents very late or too late, so that their vote can no longer be returned in time. The number of late and thus invalid votes are increasing. The participation rate of the Swiss Abroad is declining. With a rapid and comprehensive introduction of e-voting, these problems can be resolved successfully.” Finally, they emphasise that “… the cantons must take the next steps for the rapid introduction of e-voting.”
The OSA, which pursues the same goals as the co-signatories and has been demanding the introduction of e-voting for years, welcomes this initiative and thanks the following ten co-signatories for their commitment:
Roland Rino Büchel (SVP/SG)
Doris Fiala (FDP/ZH)
Tim Guldimann (SP/ZH)
Filippo Lombardi (CVP/TI)
Tiana Angelina Moser (GLP/ZH)
Isabelle Moret (FDP/VD)
Rosmarie Quandranti (BDP/ZH)
Elisabeth Schneider-Schneiter (CVP/BL)
Carlo Sommaruga (SP/GE)
Laurent Wehrli (FDP/VD)
*In 2004 the OSA formed the Parliamentary Group ‘Swiss Abroad’ specifically to deal with political issues concerning the expatriate community. The Group is made up of over 100 members of both houses of parliament – National Council and Council of States – and from many political parties. The group meets twice a year to deal with a wide spectrum of issues.
(transl. by R Isler)