This is an article for all my European readers: You might have heard of it already: There are quite a few elections going on this weekend. As an European citizen you can not only participate in the European Elections but also in the Elections of the Stuttgart City Council. In this post I point out the main facts about the Elections of the Stuttgart City Council and answer frequently asked questions.
First and foremost: Every vote counts so make use of your right and go vote. Not voting doesn’t help anyone and doesn’t change anything. So: Go vote!
Ok, this said, let’s move on to the details of the elections 🙂
Who is allowed to participate in the Elections of the City Council
All Germans and European citizens can participate in the election when they are 16 years of age or older and when they have had their principal residence in Stuttgart for at least three months.
What can I vote for?
You vote for the members of the City Council of Stuttgart. As the council has 60 members you have 60 votes. The council decides for example what the budget is used for, what projects will be pushed and which not. So their work influences our lives here in Stuttgart directly.
How can I spread my votes?
You are actually very flexible here. You can give up to 3 votes to one candidate and you can select candidates from different lists (parties).
If you only want to support one party you can either just take their list, don’t do anything with it and put it in the envelope. Then you have given each of their candidates one vote. However, if this party has less then 60 candidates you give away votes. So it might make sense to have a closer look at the candidates of your favorite party and spread the final votes amongst for favorites. Please note: As soon as you change anything on a list (give one candidate 2 votes for example) you have to actively give the others 0-3 votes as well.
You can distribute your votes by writing “I, II, II”, “1, 2, 3” or “X, XX, XXX” behind the candidates you want to vote for.
Here come some tipps that might help you fill out your ballot paper correctly:
- Make sure to count your votes before you put the ballot paper in the envelope. If you have given 61 or more votes your ballot paper will be invalid! So be sure to double check.
- Do you want to vote just for one party but have given one or more candidates more than one vote? Then make sure you have marked the number of votes for all the other candidates as well.
- You want to vote for just one party but don’t like one of their candidates and have crossed him or her out without marking anything else on the ballot paper? As soon as you change anything on the ballot paper you have to actively spread your votes amongst the remaining candidates!
- Make sure to put the right ballot paper in the right envelope. Don’t mix the European Elections with the City Council Elections.
- As you should have received the ballot paper by now via post you should take the time and fill it out at home. This is much more convenient than starting to spread your 60 votes at the polling station with a line of people waiting behind you.
When and where are the elections taking place?
The elections take place on May 26. You will find the address of your polling station on the election voting card that you should have received in the last few weeks.
What do I need to do on election day?
Visit your polling station between 8 am and 6 pm. Don’t forget to bring your election voting card, your ballot paper (you should have received it together with the voting card) as well as your passport.
What if I have no time on May 26, can I vote anyway?
You can apply for postal vote but you have to be quick now. Please find more information and the deadlines here (only in German though): www.stuttgart.de/briefwahl
Where do I find more information about the Elections of the Stuttgart City Council?
The City of Stuttgart has put together a great website with tons of information (only in German): www.meine-stimme-fuer-stuttgart.de
Please not that I have put toghether this article to my best knowledge but I cannot be made responsible for any missunderstandings. If you have further questions concerning the Elections of the Stuttgart City Council please call the service number of the City of Stuttgart: 0711 216-92233.