Non-voters are persons entitled to vote who do not exercise their right to vote as they neither go to the polls nor vote by postal ballot.

Non-voters are as insignificant for the distribution of votes as invalid votes. The number of seats a party has obtained in the German Bundestag is as a rule based on the second votes cast for all of its Land lists. The number of seats held by a party for the Federal Republic of Germany in the European Parliament depends on the number of votes cast for their candidates. Lists for individual Länder of the same party or association entitled to nominate candidates are regarded as combined lists.

In contrast to invalid votes, non-voters are not included in the calculation of the voter turnout.

At the 2021 Bundestag election, voter turnout was 76.6 %, which means that 23.4 % of the 61,181,072 persons entitled to vote – that is 14,326,564 people – did not participate in the election.

At the 2019 European election, voter turnout was 61.4 %, which means that 38.6 % of the 61,600,263 persons entitled to vote – that is 23,792,517 people – did not participate in the election.

Last update: 9 February 2023