Federal Council authorises use of online voting in the canton of Graubünden

Bern, 22.11.2023 - At its meeting on 22 November 2023, the Federal Council granted the canton of Graubünden a basic licence to trial online voting in federal votes. The basic licence is valid for conducting online voting for a limited section of the electorate up to and including the popular vote held on 8 March 2026. At the same time, the Federal Chancellery granted the canton authorisation to hold the vote on 3 March 2024 online.

The Federal Council's decision allows the canton of Graubünden to resume online voting trials. Graubünden will use the same Swiss Post online voting system already in operation in the cantons of Basel-Stadt, St Gallen and Thurgau. The cantons and the Federal Chancellery draw a positive conclusion from the use of this system in the referendum on 18 June 2023 and in the National Council elections on 22 October 2023.

Graubünden shall make online voting available to its voters resident in Switzerland as well as those abroad. In an initial phase, voters in six pilot communes will be able to register to vote online. The canton has applied for authorisation for around 12,000 voters to use the system in the first of the popular votes, to be held on 3 March 2024. Along with the voters who can vote electronically in the cantons of Basel-Stadt, St Gallen and Thurgau, around 77,000 persons are expected to be eligible for online voting on 3 March 2024 – around 1.4 per cent of all Swiss voters.

Under Graubünden cantonal law, the explanatory notes provided to persons who register to vote electronically are only made available online. However, these voters will continue to receive their polling card by post. This permits them to vote exclusively via the electronic voting channel. If they wish to cast their vote by post or in person at the ballot box, they can request to do so at their local commune. It is possible to register or deregister to vote online before each ballot.

The online voting system and its operation are reviewed and developed on an ongoing basis. The Federal Chancellery has again commissioned examinations from independent experts. Their reports and the catalogue of measures drawn up by the Confederation and the cantons are published. Swiss Post is also continuing public examinations of the system by running a bug-bounty programme and regular public intrusion tests.

In addition to the basic licence issued by the Federal Council, the cantons require authorisation from the Federal Chancellery for each popular vote held. The Federal Chancellery has granted the Canton of Graubünden authorisation for the vote on 3 March 2024 based on the basic licence granted by the Federal Council and in consideration of the catalogue of measures. The Federal Chancellery will review how the measures are implemented in conjunction with future authorisation procedures.

Address for enquiries

Urs Bruderer
Federal Chancellery, Deputy Head of Communication
+41 58 483 99 69


The Federal Council

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