Background

Why does the Canton of Berne have the heaviest envelopes?

It all happens again on 20 October 2019: the parliamentary elections are just around the corner. It won’t be long before those particularly thick voting envelopes start dropping into people’s homes. For Swiss Post, this involves a major logistics feat. Did you know...

Sandra Gonseth

(Copyright: Max Spring)

... that Swiss Post will deliver approximately 5 million voting envelopes to Swiss voters within the space of a week? In the city of Zurich alone, 240,000 voting envelopes will be delivered.

… that, according to calculations, the total number of envelopes is enough to fill around 8,500 bulk containers, which roughly equates to 400 truckloads? Swiss Post harnesses synergies to transport these envelopes wherever possible.

… that the Canton of Berne has the heaviest (up to 500 g) envelopes? And here’s why: in the Canton of Berne, campaign materials produced by the parties/candidates are put into the envelopes along with the official voting documents. Around 350 tonnes of paper will be sent to approximately 700,000 voters.

… that eight flat sorting machines (FSM) will be in non-stop operation for up to 333 hours during the parliamentary elections? Each machine is operated by four people, which equates to 1,333 man-hours.

… that, in certain cantons such as Geneva, Neuchâtel and Vaud, the voting documents are delivered directly to the letter centers by the cantons? In cantons such as Berne, the documents are primarily stuffed into envelopes at integration workshops and lettershops. In eastern Switzerland, major ICT supplier Abraxas Informatik AG performs this task.

… that, according to statutory delivery deadlines, the envelopes may be delivered no earlier than four and no later than three calendar weeks prior to the election weekend? This regulation is uniform throughout Switzerland and will apply to the parliamentary elections for the very first time this year.

… that the voting envelopes have been certified since 2015? Since then, there have been far fewer instances of damaged envelopes than before, as they can now be processed mechanically. The Canton of Basel, incidentally, was the last canton to switch to the new envelopes.

… that 10 different Swiss Post professions are involved in election logistics (logistics expert, mail carrier, product manager, customer advisor, driver, retail employee, process manager, sorter, technician, transport planner)?

written by

Sandra Gonseth

Editor