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Postal vote

No application to the Federal Returning Officer!

Submit your application to the local authority of your main place of residence.

Eligible voters who are entered in an electoral roll can exercise their right to vote by postal vote without a specific reason. This is also possible if you are temporarily abroad. To do this, they must have a so-called Ballot apply for. A reason for this is no longer required.

Postal voting documents are automatically attached to the ballot paper.

Alternatively, you can use a voting slip to vote in any other constituency of this constituency.

Request

If you want to vote by postal vote, you need a voting slip. You can get this from the municipality of your main place of residence

  • personally or
  • apply in writing. The written form is also deemed to have been met by fax or e-mail. The documents can be requested online from many municipalities.
  • An application by telephone is not possible.

There is already a form on the back of your voting notification that you can fill out and return.

However, the application can also be made before the voting notification has been delivered. The following information is required:

  • Family name,
  • First names,
  • Date of birth and
  • Home address (street, house number, postcode, city).

Anyone who applies for someone else must submit a written power of attorney. In this case, an application can only be made in person or in writing (not electronically!).

Eligible voters with disabilities can have someone else help them with the application.

Legal bases

§§ 27, 28 BWO

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The municipal authority sends the ballot paper with the attached postal voting documents to the residential address or - on request - to another address (e.g. holiday address).

The documents can also be picked up personally from the municipality. In this case, you can alternatively vote by post on the spot.

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You should submit your application for a ballot so early ask as possible. You do not have to wait for the voting notification to be received.

A voting slip can be submitted no later than Friday before election day by 6 p.m. be requested. In special exceptional cases, a voting slip can be applied for up to 3 p.m. on the day of the election, for example if, in the case of proven sudden illness, the voting area cannot be visited or can only be visited with unreasonable difficulties.

Legal bases

§§ 27, 28 BWO

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It is also possible to vote by post from abroad. However, the election letter must then be sufficiently franked. In addition, the election letter must be sent early enough so that it is available by 6 p.m. on the Sunday of the election at the latest at the responsible office specified on the election letter. We recommend sending ballot letters from outside Europe by airmail. To do this, you need an airmail sticker (Priority / Prioritaire), which you can find on the Internet, among other places.

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Ballot papers and postal voting documents can only be issued or sent after final approval of the nominations and subsequent printing of the ballot papers. This can therefore take place at the earliest about six weeks before the election.

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Upon your request, you will receive or send the following documents:

  • A ballot. This must be personally signed by the employee of the municipal authority commissioned with the issue and provided with the official seal. The official seal can be imprinted. If the voting slip is created automatically, the signature may be missing; instead, the name of the employee responsible can be printed on it.
  • An official ballot.
  • An official ballot envelope (blue).
  • An official ballot envelope (red) with the full address to which the ballot letter must be sent. It also contains the name of the municipality's issuing office and voting slip number or electoral district.
  • A detailed leaflet for postal voting, which contains all important information and explains postal voting with clear pictures.
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Choose

  • Tick ​​one or both votes (first and / or second vote) personally and unobserved on the voting slip and then place the voting slip in the blue envelope (voting slip envelope) and seal it.
  • Date and sign the "Insurance on oath instead of postal vote" on the ballot paper below and put the ballot paper together with the blue ballot paper envelope in the red ballot envelope.
  • Seal the red polling envelope and post it within Germany without postage (sufficient postage outside Germany) or hand it in directly to the address indicated on the envelope.

The voting envelope can only be submitted to the address indicated on the envelope.

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The election letter must be sent in good time by post or delivered directly to the address indicated on the election envelope. He must contact the competent authority by election Sunday at the latest until 18:00 present, since the election will then end and the counting of the votes will begin. Ballot letters received later can no longer be taken into account when counting votes.

If you send it by post, you should send the election letter in Germany no later than the third working day before the election to ensure that it is received on time. In any case, you yourself bear the risk that the election letter will be received on time. Postal voting should therefore be carried out immediately after receipt of the postal voting documents and the voting letter should be sent to the address printed on the envelope or handed in there immediately afterwards.

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The election letter does not have to be franked if it is sent by post within the Federal Republic of Germany.

From abroad, the election letter must be sufficiently franked. In this case you have to bear the costs for this yourself.

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If you would like to vote in a different district than “your” on election day, you must have applied for a voting slip in advance. With this you can visit any constituency within your constituency. After the election board has checked the ballot, you will receive a ballot and can vote. The electoral board keeps the voting slip.

An election in a constituency outside of one's “own” constituency is Not possible.

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Determination of results

To determine the postal voting results, so-called postal voting boards are used within the constituency. After the voting process (after 6:00 p.m. on the day of the election), these count the postal voting documents that have been received and checked by then.

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The results of the postal vote are already included in the preliminary result.

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The regulations on postal voting in the Federal Election Act and in the Federal Electoral Code ensure that voting secrecy is guaranteed at all times. The following is a schematic representation of how the election letters are handled in accordance with the legal provisions:

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Legal bases

§§ 25, 28 BWO