Postal vote

Make your application at the municipal authority of your main place of residence.

Eligible voters who are registered in an electoral roll can exercise their right to vote by absentee ballot without a special reason. This is also possible if you are temporarily abroad. For this you have to Municipality of your main place of residence a so-called ballot paper apply. A reason for this is no longer required.

Absentee ballots are automatically enclosed with the ballot paper.

Alternatively, with a ballot paper you can vote in any other constituency of this electoral district.

Legal basis


If you want to vote by absentee ballot, you need a ballot paper. You can obtain this from the municipality of your main place of residence

  • in person or
  • apply in writing. The written form is also considered to have been observed by fax or e-mail. With many municipalities you can request the documents online.
  • It is not possible to apply by phone.

There is already a form on the back of your election notice that you can fill out and return to us.

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

  • Family name,
  • First names,
  • Date of birth and
  • Residential address (street, house number, postal code, city).

If you are applying on behalf of someone else, you must provide a written power of attorney. Therefore, a request in this case is only in person or in writing (not electronically)!) possible.

Eligible voters with disabilities can be assisted by another person in the application process.

Legal basis

The municipal authority sends the ballot paper with the enclosed absentee ballot documents to the residential address or – upon request – to another address (for example, vacation address).

The documents can also be collected in person from the municipality. In this case, you can alternatively exercise absentee voting on the spot.

Legal basis

You should submit your application for a ballot paper like this early as possible. You do not have to wait for the election notification to receive them.

An absentee ballot may be requested no later than Friday before the election day until 6:00 p.m to apply for a ballot paper. In exceptional cases, a ballot paper can be applied for until 3:00 p.m. on the day of the election, for example, if there is evidence of sudden illness and the polling station cannot be visited or can only be visited with unreasonable difficulty.

Legal basis

If eligible voters collect their absentee ballots in person from the relevant office of the local authority, they can also cast their vote there on the spot. It must be ensured that the ballot paper can be marked unobserved and placed in the ballot paper envelope.

Legal basis

Participation in the election by absentee ballot is also possible from abroad. However, the ballot paper must then be sufficiently stamped. In addition, the absentee ballot must be sent in good time so that it is received by the competent office indicated on the absentee ballot by 6:00 p.m. on election Sunday at the latest. We recommend that ballot papers from outside Europe be sent by airmail. For this purpose, you need an airmail sticker (Priority/Prioritaire), which you can find on the Internet, among other places.

Absentee ballots can only be issued or mailed after final approval of the election proposals and subsequent printing of the ballots. This can be earliest about six weeks before the election. It is therefore important that the application is submitted in good time ca. six weeks before the election is submitted to the relevant municipality.

You will receive the following documents upon your request:

  • A ballot paper. it must be signed by hand by the official of the municipal authority responsible for issuing it and bear the official seal. The official seal can be printed on it. If the ballot paper is generated automatically, the signature may be missing; instead, the name of the authorized official may be printed on it.
  • An official ballot paper.
  • An official ballot paper envelope (blue).
  • An official voting envelope (red), on which the complete address to which the voting letter must be sent is indicated. It also contains the name of the issuing office of the municipality and ballot paper number or electoral district.
  • A detailed leaflet for absentee voting, which contains all the important information and explains absentee voting with illustrative pictures.
Legal basis

If you credibly assure the municipal authority that you did not receive the ballot paper, a new ballot paper can be issued to you until 12:00 noon on the Saturday before the election. Please contact your local authority immediately.

Legal basis

§ 28 para. 10 BWO§ 28 para. 10 BWO


  • Mark one or both votes (first and/or second vote) personally and unobserved on the ballot paper and then place the ballot paper in the blue envelope (ballot paper envelope) and seal it.
  • Date and sign the "Declaration in lieu of an oath for absentee voting" found at the bottom of the ballot paper.
  • Put the ballot paper together with the blue ballot paper envelope into the red ballot paper envelope.
  • Seal the red envelope and send it unstamped within Germany (postage prepaid outside Germany) or hand it in directly to the office indicated on the envelope.

The absentee ballot envelope can only be handed in at the office indicated on the envelope.

Legal basis

It is essential that you send your absentee ballot in good time by post or hand it in directly to the office indicated on the absentee ballot envelope. It must be received by the competent office no later than election Sunday until 18:00 The ballot paper must be available at the end of the day, as the election then ends and the counting of the votes begins. Election letters received after this date cannot be taken into account when counting the votes.

If you send your absentee ballot by mail, you should send it in Germany no later than the third working day before the election to ensure that it is received on time. In any case, you bear the risk that your absentee ballot is received on time. The absentee ballot should therefore be cast immediately after receipt of the absentee ballot documents, and the ballot letter should be mailed or delivered immediately thereafter to the address printed on the envelope.

Legal basis

The ballot paper does not have to be stamped if sent by post within the Federal Republic of Germany.

From abroad, the election letter must be sufficiently stamped. In this case you have to pay the costs yourself.

If you wish to vote on election day in a constituency other than "your" constituency, you must have applied for a ballot paper in good time beforehand. With this you can visit any electoral district within your electoral district. After the ballot paper has been checked by the local election board, you will receive a ballot paper and can vote. The ballot paper is retained by the election committee.

An election in a constituency outside your "own" constituency is not possible.

Determination of results

For the determination of the postal voting result, so-called postal voting committees are appointed within the electoral district. These count after the election action (on the election day after 18:00 o’clock) the postal voting documents received and examined up to that time.

Legal basis

The results of the postal vote are already included in the provisional results.

The regulations on absentee voting in the Federal Election Act and the Federal Election Regulations ensure that the secrecy of the ballot is guaranteed at all times. The following is a schematic diagram of how to handle absentee ballots in accordance with legal requirements:

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