Voting Rights in Germany


EU Citizens can vote in both local communal and European Parliamentary elections in Germany if they are at least 18 years of age, have been living in the municipality at least 3 months and have not been refused voting rights within the EU.

Municipal Elections:

You can find out more about your communal voting arrangements at the voting office (Wahlamt) in your local city hall (Rathaus).

You should receive your voting card (Wahlschein) by post no later than three weeks prior to any election in which you are entitled to vote. You will be automatically placed on the list of eligible voters based on the information you provided when registering with the town hall. If you have not received this card and want to vote, then you should approach the Wahlamt and check your registration.

European Parliamentary Elections:

As an EU citizen living in Germany, you can decide if you would like to vote in Germany or your home country. You may not vote in both.

You must register when voting for the European Parliament for the first time in Germany. After this time, you will automatically be registered to vote in Germany unless you move to another country. The registration form must be received by the Wahlamt no later than 21 days before the elections!

If you would like to vote in your home country, the requirements may be different than in Germany.

New for 2014 is that there is no longer a 5% lower limit for a political party to make it into the parliament.

Information for EU Citizens is available here.


Non-EU residents cannot vote in any German elections.


US Citizens You are allowed to vote per mail in US elections, but you must be registered and request a ballot. This registration process must be repeated every election year (prior to 2012, the ballot was automatically sent to you). For more information from the US Embassy, click here. The Overseas Voter Foundation may also be able to help. In addition Democrats Abroad and Republicans Overseas provide information about voting and act as a lobby for U.S. citizens living abroad.