Election to the German Bundestag on 24 September 2017
The elections for the 19th Bundestag will take place on 24th September 2017. From abroad, Germans can only participate by postal ballot. Voting at the Embassy is not possible.
Germans who still have a registered domicile in Germany will be entered ex officio into the voters’ register of their municipality. Their polling card will automatically be sent to their registered address. With this card, they can apply for postal ballot.
Germans living abroad who do not have a registered domicile in Germany (‘German expatriates’)
They are not automatically entered into a voters’ register. If German expatriates wish to participate in Bundestag elections, they have to submit a formal application for entry into the voters’ register before each election. The application must be sent to the municipality where they were last registered before moving abroad. It must be received there by 03rd September 2017. Please do not send your application to the Embassy! You can download the application here (available only in German):
For German expatriates who have never lived in Germany for at least three months it is the municipality they are most closely connected with. In cases where such a place cannot be identified, the last home municipality of the person’s direct ancestors in today’s territory of the Federal Republic of Germany should be considered, if there are more than one, the municipality where they were last registered before leaving Germany.
Who is entitled to vote?
Adult Germans permanently living abroad who are not disqualified from voting are entitled to go to the polls if,
- a) after reaching the age of 14 (which means from their 14th birthday), they were either resident in the Federal Republic of Germany for an uninterrupted period of at least three months and this stay dates back not more than 25 years
- b) for other reasons, they have become familiar, personally and directly, with the political situation in the Federal Republic of Germany and are affected by it.
The decision whether you are entitled to vote is taken by the municipality in charge, not the Embassy or the Foreign Office.
Moving back to Germany
If you are moving back to Germany and register your domicile there by 13th August 2017, you are not allowed to file an application for entry into the voters’ register. You will be entered in the voters’ register at the place where you register and will receive your polling card to your registered address.
If you are registering your domicile in Germany after 13th August 2017 but before 3rd September 2017, you can be entered into the voters’ register upon application. You should file this application directly when registering in Germany with the local municipality.
If you have already filed an application from abroad before returning to Germany, you will vote in the municipality where you have been entered into the voters’ register based on your application.
If you register your domicile in Germany only after 3rd September 2017, you need to file an application for entry into the voters’ register from abroad before 3rd September 2017, otherwise you will not be able to be vote.