OSCE Election Experts in Switzerland

Berne, Press release, 07.10.2011

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) will be present in Switzerland to observe the preparation and conduct of the Federal elections slated for 23 October 2011. The OSCE experts intend to direct their attention particularly at the electronic voting option and at the financing of the election campaigns.

Eleven OSCE experts will be staying in Switzerland from 10 through 28 October 2011 and focusing mainly on those cantons which are for the first time offering Swiss residing abroad the possibility of electronic voting within the scope of Federal elections. In performing this mission, the OSCE experts are seeking to learn from the experience of Switzerland and to acquire knowledge that they will subsequently be able to apply in supporting younger democracies and in further developing new election technologies within the OSCE area.

The decision on deploying this type of mission depends on a needs assessment conducted beforehand by the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). As a rule, such missions take place in long-established democracies, focus on specific aspects of the electoral process, and dispense with the systematic dispatch of long or short-term election observers. It is up to the OSCE experts themselves to determine their programme, and they inform the Swiss authorities on the operational details with short notice.

At the 1994 OSCE Summit in Budapest, the heads of state and government of the OSCE Participating States agreed to inform the ODIHR about forthcoming elections and invite it to send representatives. Experts from Switzerland also regularly participate in OSCE election monitoring missions abroad.

Media Contact Point for contacting OSCE election experts
OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR)
Mr. Jens Eschenbaecher, ODIHR Spokesperson
Public Affairs Unit
Ul. Miodowa 10
PL-00-251 Warsaw
phone +48 22 520 0640
fax: +48 22 520 06 05

Address for enquiries:

For questions on political rights and on the organization of the elections:
Federal Chancellery, Information and Communications Section
+41 (0)31 322 37 91

For questions on the OSCE and on election assessment:
FDFA Information
+41 (0)31 322 31 53


Federal Chancellery
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs