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Organisation : A service of the Confederation, cantons and communes (ch.ch)
Facility : How do I vote for the National Council?
Country : Switzerland

How do I vote for the National Council? : https://www.ch.ch/en/elections2015/how-to-vote-in-the-parliamentary-elections/eleggere-il-consiglio-nazionale-ecco-come-fare/
Home page : https://www.ch.ch/en/elections2015/

How do I vote for the National Council? :
Here you will find the requirements that you must meet in order to vote in the National Council elections, the voting procedures and information on the election materials that voters are sent. There is a special section for Swiss citizens living abroad

How to vote in the parliamentary elections? :
Who can vote? What election materials will you be sent? How do you complete the ballot paper for the National Council elections without making mistakes? Where can you go to vote? Information about the elections to the National Council and Council of States

How do I complete the ballot paper? :
Use one of the official ballot papers you received with your voting documents. You can use one of the pre-printed ballot papers featuring a political party or a group of candidates (hereinafter referred to as: “parties”) or the ballot paper that is not pre-printed (blank ballot paper). You have the following options:

1. Unaltered ballot paper :
If you fully agree with a pre-printed ballot paper of a party, put in the provided voting envelope with making any changes to it.

This way, the candidate will receive one vote and the party will receive the number of votes corresponding to the number of National Council seat allotted to your canton.
2. Modified ballot paper :
If you would like to use a pre-printed ballot paper, but you do not support one of the candidates on the ballot or you particularly support a candidate on another list, you may modify the ballot paper as follows:
You may cross out the name of one or several candidates.
** The candidates whose names are crossed out do not receive a vote, however the new blank spaces still count as votes for the party on the ballot paper you chose.

You may add (handwrite) the name of a candidate twice on a list. This is called accumulating.
** The person whose name appears twice receive two votes.

Note: If a name already appears twice on a list, you may not add it again to the same list. Any name appearing more than twice on the same list will not receive a vote.

You may add the names of candidates from other lists to the pre-printed ballot paper. Write the candidate’s name on a blank line of the list. You may also write a candidate’s name on the line of candidate whose name you crossed out. This is called splitting the vote. The name of the same person may only be written twice on a list.

** In this case, the party whose list you chose loses a vote in favour of the party to which the person from the other list belongs.

3. Ballot papers that are not pre-printed (blank ballot papers) :
You can use the blank ballot paper to add the names of any candidates you want. You may, however, only use the names of the candidates appearing on the pre-printed ballot paper. A candidate’s name may be added no more than twice on the blank ballot paper.

** When you add the name of a party to the ballot paper, the lines left blank count as votes for that party. If you do not add the name of a party, the votes will be split among the lists containing the candidates you chose. In this case, the remaining blank lines will not count as votes for any party (blank votes).

Which ballot paper should I use? :
Use one of the official ballot papers you received with your voting documents. You can use one of the pre-printed ballot papers featuring a political party or a group of candidates (hereinafter referred to as: “parties”) or the ballot paper that is not pre-printed (blank ballot paper).

Whether you use a pre-printed ballot paper or not, or whether your write the name of a political party on a blank list or not, has a strong impact on the the allocation of mandates to the different electoral lists. The following principle applies in the system of proportional representation- “first the list, then the persons”.

This means:
** The mandates are first allocated to the party lists or to the electoral list combinations of various parties, and in proportion to the votes obtained. The more votes a list or a combined electoral list obtains, the more mandates are allocated to the party or the list combination concerned.

** In the case of list combinations and list sub-combinations, the jointly obtained mandates are allocated to the individual lists according to the proportional representation rules.

** It is only at this stage that the votes obtained by a party are allocated to the candidates who have received the highest number of votes.

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