Voting by post in the UK from Germany

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Hello,

 

I am just wondering if any UK expats here living in Germany have any experience with registering as an overseas voter in the UK and voting there by post from Germany?

 

I am thinking of doing this for the upcoming European Elections but the electoral commission in the UK state that often voting documents are not sent out until four days before the election in question, which would certainly not leave enough time left to do a postal vote from Germany. So why do they bother even offering international postal voting if there is a risk that you will get the documents to late anyway?

 

Does anyone have any experience with this? Did your documents come early enough and where you able to vote on time and get your docs back to the UK in time for the election?

 

Appreciate any Input

Glenn

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Unless you're here with the army, you cannot vote by post if you have been living here for more than a year (unless they have changed the law). You can vote here in Germany for the town council, "Bürgerbegehren" and European parliament.

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proxy voteVoting by post

 

 

Unless you're here with the army, you cannot vote by post if you have been living here for more than a year (unless they have changed the law). You can vote here in Germany for the town council, "Bürgerbegehren" and European parliament.

 

Make that 15 years. It used to be 20 but changed around 5 years ago.

 

You can vote in all national ("general") and European elections in the UK, based on the last location you were registered in, by either post or proxy. As a registered resident here you can also vote in local, communal and European elections, but not state and national ones. Note, however that you must choose to vote in European elections in either Germany or UK - you cannot vote in both. As far as European elections are concerned your time out of UK is irrelevant, so long as you retain British nationallity. Voting by post requires a quick turnaround as the voting papers are only sent a week out before the election and need to be returned in time for them to be counted. In these circumstances a proxy vote may be a better approach, or of course registration in Germany.

 

If you are not already registered to vote in European elections from Germany (or if you recently became of age here as an EU citizen) then your local Wahlamt should have written to you recently inviting you to register with them, or to ensure you are registered in your home country ready for the upcoming EU Elections. Unlike German elections you don't have an automatic right and invitation to vote, you must register your intent.

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Unless you're here with the army, you cannot vote by post if you have been living here for more than a year (unless they have changed the law). You can vote here in Germany for the town council, "Bürgerbegehren" and European parliament.

The paperwork I received from the authorities here said that if I want to vote here I should register. I immediately thought that if I didn't, then I would be able to vote in the UK by post or something. Do I take it I'm wrong and if I want to vote in the UK I have to go there?

 

Edited to add: I'm talking about the EU elections and to add link How to vote in Germany.

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Thanks for the answers so far.

 

I of course also got the letter recently from my local town hall telling me to get onto the Register if I want to vote in the european elections. But then I thought it may be wise, at least for this european election to place my vote in the UK since I wish to remain an EU Citizen living in Germany therefore I have a vested interest. So going back to my original question, has anyone voted in the UK by post from Germany and found that everything happened in enough time?

 

If not, I guess I will play safe and do the proxy vote Option. Assuming the UK is then still in the EU by the next european elections I will then just vote in Germany.

 

Kind regards

Glenn

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Does registering to vote here in Germany also put you on the potential jury duty list? Or do foreigners automatically not go on that list?

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There's no special exclusion of foreigners, Derek, they're considered to be just like German laypeople as far as being qualified to do jury duty: ie. not fit for purpose as far as the German Justice system is concerned.

 

 

Trial by jury was introduced in most German states after the revolutionary events of 1848. However, it remained controversial; and, early in the 20th century, there were moves to abolish it.[41] The Emminger Reform of January 4, 1924, during an Article 48 state of emergency, abolished the jury system and replaced it with a mixed system including bench trials and lay judges.

 

In 1925, the Social Democrats called for the reinstitution of the jury; a special meeting of the German Bar demanded revocation of the decrees, but "on the whole the abolition of the jury caused little commotion".[42] Their verdicts were widely perceived as unjust and inconsistent.

 

Today, most misdemeanors are tried by a Strafrichter, meaning a single judge at an Amtsgericht; felonies and more severe misdemeanors are tried by a Schöffengericht, also located at the Amtsgericht, composed of 1 judge and 2 lay judges; some felonies are heard by Erweitertes Schöffengericht, or extended Schöffengericht, composed of 2 judges and 2 lay judges; severe felonies and other "special" crimes are tried by the große Strafkammer, composed of 3 judges and 2 lay judges at the Landgericht, with specially assigned courts for some crimes called Sonderstrafkammer; felonies resulting in the death of a human being are tried by the Schwurgericht, composed of 3 judges and 2 lay judges, located at the Landgericht; and serious crimes against the state are tried by the Strafsenat, composed of 5 judges, at an Oberlandesgericht.[43]

 

In some civil cases, such as commercial law or patent law, there are also lay judges, who have to meet certain criteria (e.g., being a merchant).

 

2B

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There's no special exclusion of foreigners, Derek, they're considered to be just like German laypeople as far as being qualified to do jury duty: ie. not fit for purpose as far as the German Justice system is concerned.

 

Great. I never wanted to sit on a jury. I managed to avoid it the only time I was ever asked in the UK, using a single employee company exclusion :)

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The first time a general election happened in the UK while I was here I tried to vote by post but due to having been a student in the UK immediately to emigrating and so not being clearly registered on the electoral roll it became so complex that I never bothered. There was also an issue that the election was postponed and then called at relatively short notice (or something) and it wasn't a all clear that the postal tie documents would even get to me in time.

 

Never bothered again and of course I've been over the time limit for years now.

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Hi, thanks for posting this topic. I have a related question: I voted in the local elections after receiving their automatically-generated voting card a few years back, and I figured I'd receive something similar for these elections. Is that not the case? Can I still go to the Amt and ask for something to vote with on the May 22 election or is it toooo late? Can I just turn up at the pollbox with my passport and Anmeldungbescheinigung and hope for the best...? (I might do that anyway, if I get desperate).

 

Questions, questions, and none of the usual voting info sites seem to offer country-specific info about this. Weird that I never even got an info pamphlet about it from the EU parliament telling me what to do. Germany's usually so organized... I've gotten a bit too used to it obviously! Helpful answers very welcome :-)

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You have to be registered to vote. Once registered, assuming you don't move to another area you stay registered and automatically get a voting card. The registration for local elections is separate to European ones. If you've not had a card/letter by now, then you may not be registered locally, so you may need to go to the local Wahlamt to see why they have not sent one. It might be they think you turned down a previous opportunity to vote and/or are registered in your home country.

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Hi, thanks for posting this topic. I have a related question: I voted in the local elections after receiving their automatically-generated voting card a few years back, and I figured I'd receive something similar for these elections. Is that not the case? Can I still go to the Amt and ask for something to vote with on the May 22 election or is it toooo late? Can I just turn up at the pollbox with my passport and Anmeldungbescheinigung and hope for the best...? (I might do that anyway, if I get desperate).

 

Questions, questions, and none of the usual voting info sites seem to offer country-specific info about this. Weird that I never even got an info pamphlet about it from the EU parliament telling me what to do. Germany's usually so organized... I've gotten a bit too used to it obviously! Helpful answers very welcome :-)

 

Sometimes things get lost in the post, I have a German acquaintance, who was born in this city and has lived in the same house for the last 30 years and didn't get her voting card for the Bundestag election. I would suggest you contact the city hall, you can do this here in Berlin. If for some reason you aren't on the register, they can fix it.

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Thanks for answering! Yep I was registered for the locals... (I think that's why they sent me a voting card for them last time round :P )

 

I was just reading this nifty voting info sheet from the bezirksamt (below) and it seems to say that registered voters will receive a card in the weeks leading up to the election (p. 19 of the sheet). It doesn't specify whether this is different for UK expats but since the info is written in 'easy German' I'm guessing that it is aimed at foreign EU citizens who are resident here, as well as Germans.

 

However, you are both right, Yorkshirelad and PLS - I need to get down to the amt (or City Hall) and tell them I never got it. Could have been lost or unsent.

 

http://www.berlin.de/imperia/md/content/balichtenberghohenschoenhausen/behinderten/brosch__re_zur_europa_wahl_barrierefrei.pdf?start&ts=1397209561&file=brosch__re_zur_europa_wahl_barrierefrei.pdf

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