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European Elections - right to vote

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An article on The Local described the difficulties experienced by some "EU Bürger" in casting their vote. Here's the applicable text.

 

" The 30-year-old told The Local: “There was a woman sat there with all the names on the electoral roll on and she said no EU. I asked a man by the ballot box why and he didn’t know so he asked a woman who was not the most friendly. She said, ‘no you can’t do it, that’s it’.

“She didn't say why. I didn't really know what the rules were on voting as a non-German citizen so I didn't argue too much. No one knew why so it's a bit of a mystery really.”

EU citizens have been able to vote in other EU countries during European elections since 1994 and a spokesman for the Electoral Office confirmed to The Local that all foreigners who had registered should have been allowed to vote. "

 

So why did that happen?

 

In order to vote in the EU elections, citizens of another European Community need to be registered in the "Wählerverzeichnis" (Electoral Register) in accordance with Paragraph 17a of the European Electoral Regulations, an English copy of which I've made available as PDF here:

 

European Election Regulations

 

This is not the same as your entry on the electoral register for internal elections, which results automatically from your registration at the Einwohnermeldeamt. To be included on the Electoral Register for European Elections, you are obliged to make a separate application, which while it may seem to be an unnecessary hurdle, is a logical requirement, as you may only vote once in the EU elections, and in fact it's an offence to cast more than one vote.

 

The District and Town Returning Officers can know that if you are registered as a resident in Germany you have a right to participate in certain local elections. But they cannot know whether or not you are still registered for a European vote in your home country, thus the need to make that application, and at the same time to declare that you will only cast one vote.

 

In the case described above the officials response was correct, but their incorrect procedure exacerbated the problem/disappointment. I was a "Wahlbeisitzer" (Invigilator/Helper) during the recent polling, and the Electoral Officers checked the voting entitlement BEFORE voting slips were issued. Voters not included on the Register for any election were informed beforehand, and received only the voting slips they were entitled to. We're a small community so numbers were manageable, and in fact I was the only external EU Bürger entitled to vote in the EU elections. Not because I'm a smart-arse, although that does apply, but I'm a political animal and have been here a long time. I explained the situation to the others, and how they could enable their EU voting rights for the future. For those interested in doing the same (I know, the next EU election is a long way off!) I have made the application form available here:

Anlage 2A zu §17a EuWO

This form clearly states that it's for the 2014 election, but it's worth keeping as a reference for the future, as while the date may change the name almost certainly won't. I don't know if this form is available in English.

 

I hope this clarifies matters. Clearly there is a need for EU citizens to be better informed about their voting rights in EU States other than their own. Maybe either The Local or its Forums could establish a permanent info base on this subject.

 

I won't really have time to take part in any ensuing discussion but I'd be happy to respond to any additional queries. Please PM me.

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Actually, the quote from the Local raises a question in my mind: how did the person who got turned away know where to go to attempt to cast his ballot? I had to check my voting papers (which receuved, unasked, in the post) to see where I had to go. Admittedly, I've only been in NB for a year - but in Munich I woludn't have known either.

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News flash: The Local publishes populist garbage based on hearsay and no research.

 

Same as it ever was.

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Quick related question. Does anyone know where I can find who the local candidates are. Been googling but only getting info for the UK. I got the ballot but it's tough German to figure out. The only party I'm familiar with is AFD and not too keen to vote for them

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You can get a list from your Rathaus. 

This link below also gives you information, and a chance to compare your answers to those of the parties themselves.

https://www.wahl-o-mat.de/europawahl2019/

It turns out that I'm a natural Pirate party voter, although close second was Die Partei! Whilst I love their adverts (particularly the Demokratie ohne Haken one...oh, and "Schwarzfahren muss bezahlbar beleiben"), I'm not entirely sure that paints a good picture of my politics or my sanity.

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Correct me if I am wrong but isn't it only EU nationals that are eligible to vote in the EU elections?

 

@Rushrush your profile says American hence my question.

 

Has any of the UK TT'ers received their voting papers yet?

My wife has received hers but she is German.

 

 

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8 hours ago, Sir Percy B said:

Correct me if I am wrong but isn't it only EU nationals that are eligible to vote in the EU elections?

 

@Rushrush your profile says American hence my question.

 

Has any of the UK TT'ers received their voting papers yet?

My wife has received hers but she is German.

 

 

My wife is German

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29 minutes ago, Rushrush said:

 

My wife is German

Can¡t edit, she has a German passport via her Mom, but can speak it but reading is tough, in case you wondering why I didn't just ask her

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17 hours ago, Rushrush said:

Quick related question. Does anyone know where I can find who the local candidates are.

 

The draft ballot is a bit hard to find on the website of the city of Berlin:

 

https://www.berlin.de/wahlen/wahlen/europawahl-2019/allgemeine-informationen/stimmzettelmuster-europawahl-2019-berlin.pdf

 

All parties use nation-wide candidate lists except CDU (state lists); there are no "local" candidates therefore.

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We were surprised when we failed to get our election papers for the EU parliament, as the UK is still in the EU despite so called Brexit. The local council said we were no longer on the list of voters. However, after we complained they corrected this and we have just been and casted our votes- as we shall be away on voting day. So all you Brits  who have not received your papers, contact your local council  and demand them.

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