Press release no. 12/19 of 12. April 2019
2019 European Election: right to vote of Germans abroad
WIESBADEN – Germans permanently living abroad who do no longer have a place of residence in Germany may participate in the election of European Parliament members from the Federal Republic of Germany on 26 May 2019. The Federal Returning Officer reports that to do so they must meet the conditions laid down in electoral legislation and
- either have had an abode in one of the territories of the other European Union Member States or otherwise been permanently resident there for a minimum of three months on election day, with a stay in the Federal Republic of Germany directly before being included in the three-month period,
- or have had an abode in the Federal Republic of Germany or otherwise been permanently resident there for a minimum of three months without interruption after completing their 14th year of age, provided that this stay was not more than 25 years in the past,
- or, for other reasons, have become familiar, personally and directly, with the political situation in the Federal Republic of Germany and are affected by it.
Germans permanently staying abroad who wish to vote in Germany in the 2019 European Election must have their names entered in due time in the voters’ register of the municipality in Germany where they last lived. To this end they also have to fill in a special form, affirming in lieu of an oath that they are entitled to vote. The form is available on the website of the Federal Returning Officer (https://www.bundeswahlleiter.de/en).
The application for entry in the voters’ register must bear the applicant’s personal handwritten signature; the original has to be submitted to the municipal authority in charge. It must not be sent by e-mail or fax. The application must have been received by the respective municipal authority in Germany by the 21st day before the election (5 May 2019) at the latest. This period cannot be extended. Therefore the completed application should be sent to the relevant municipality as early as possible.
Germans abroad who have been entered in the voters’ register will be sent the postal ballot documents by their municipality about one month before election day.
Voters have to send the completed postal ballot documents (polling card with affirmation in lieu of an oath and ballot paper in the sealed ballot paper envelope) to the authority indicated on the official return envelope in good time so that the postal ballot letter is received by the end of voting hours at 6 p.m. on election day (26 May 2019) at the latest.
Some missions of the Federal Republic of Germany abroad offer a forwarding service for postal ballot letters from the relevant country to Germany. For more information please contact the respective mission abroad or see the website of the Federal Returning Officer (https://www.bundeswahlleiter.de).
For further information:
Office of the Federal Returning Officer
tel: +49 611 75-4863