The local authority of the municipality shall maintain voters’ registers for
Bundestag and European elections which are based on the residents’ register. Therefore, when
the voters’ register is compiled, only such persons may be taken into account as have registered
with the residents’ registration office. In
European elections this also applies to registered Union citizens entitled to vote who, upon
their application, were entered in a voters’ register for the 2004 European Election. Also, persons
entitled to vote who are not registered in the residents’ register (e.g. Germans abroad, homeless
persons) shall be entered in the voters’ register provided they have applied to be entered in the
voters’ register no later than the 21st day before the election.
Any person entered in a voters’ register must have received a voter’s notification from the
local authority of his or her municipality no later than the 21st day before the election.
Any person entitled to vote has the right to check whether the data in the voters’ register
which relate to him or her are correct and complete. This may be done on workdays during normal
opening hours on the 20th to 16th day before the election. Persons entitled to vote have the right
to inspect the data of other persons entered in the voters’ register only if they can establish
valid claims that show the voters’ register to be incorrect or incomplete. Any person who deems the
voters’ register incorrect or incomplete may lodge an appeal with the local authority of the
municipality during the public display period.
If a person has been wrongfully omitted from the voters’ register and if an amendment is not
possible anymore, he or she shall receive a polling card on application.
Persons eligible to vote who have erroneously been registered in several voters’ registers
may exercise their right to vote only once. The voters’ register is to guarantee the principle of
equality by making it possible to check who it entitled to vote and who has already cast his or her
vote on election day.
Bundestag election: Section 17 of the Federal Elections Act (BWG), Sections 14 to 24 of the
Federal Electoral Regulations (BWO)
European election: Section 4 of the European Elections Act (EuWG), Sections 14 to 18 of the
European Electoral Regulations (EuWO)
Last update: March 2008
©2012 The Federal Returning Officer