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Certification of the right to vote

The certification of the right to vote is part of the official form for supporting signatures. It serves as proof that the person in question is entitled to participate in the election as a voter.

In Bundestag and European elections, nominations submitted by non-established parties have to be signed by a specific number of persons entitled to vote (supporting signatures). By signing, these people show that they are in favour of the nomination. This is to ensure that only serious nominations of candidates can be voted for which have a reasonable number of supporters.

An effective supporting signature can be provided only by people who are entitled to vote in the respective electoral area. Those who wish to support a constituency nomination in a Bundestag election have to be eligible to vote in the respective constituency, those wishing to support a Land list have to be entitled to vote in the respective Land. Those who wish to support a list for all Länder in a European election have to be eligible to vote in Germany, those wishing to support a list for one Land have to be entitled to vote in the respective Land. The fact that a person is entitled to vote is certified by the municipal authority where that person has his or her first residence (certification of the right to vote).

Anyone applying for a certificate of the right to vote on another person’s behalf, as for example a political party nominating candidates, has to prove that the person concerned supports the nomination.

Legal bases

Bundestag election:

Sections 20 (2) and (3), 27 (1) of the Federal Elections Act (BWG)
Sections 34 (4) no. 3, 39 (3) of the Federal Electoral Regulations (BWO)
Annexes 14 and 21 to the Federal Electoral Regulations (BWO)

 

European election:

Section 9 (5) of the European Elections Act (EuWG)
Section 32 (3) no. 3 of the European Electoral Regulations (EuWO)
Annex 14 to the European Electoral Regulations (EuWO)

Last update: 18 January 2017