What does the ballot paper look like? What makes it invalid?

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Written By Maya Cantina

The European elections are getting closer. In Germany and most other EU countries, citizens will vote on the balance of power in the European Parliament on Sunday, June 9. The elections take place only once every five years and differ from others, such as federal, state or local elections: each voter is only allowed to tick one box for one party. Here we answer the most important questions.

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FAQ: Ballot papers for the 2024 European elections

Parties and order: this is what the ballot papers for the 2024 European elections look like

These are on the ballot in every state a total of only 34 of the 35 approved parties and other political associations. This is because the CSU can only be elected in Bavaria, the CDU in all other fifteen states.

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  • The eligible parties and associations are on the left side of the arch mentioned, the cross is placed in the designated place at the right of the note made.
  • The Series of the parties on the ballot varies from state to state. The parties that already participated in the last European elections in 2019 are listed in descending order of the number of votes. Parties that did not participate in the last elections are then listed alphabetically.
  • In each party column, the first ten candidates are listed in small print with their name, profession and place of residence. In a The right column shows the pre-printed circlesin which voters each a single cross for the chosen side can do.

Sample ballot paper show exactly what the ballot papers for elections in a federal state look like. The CDU and CSU are the only parties involved Lists of states compete in the respective states. The other parties each have something in common Federal listswhich are the same in all countries.

This is what the ballot paper for the European elections in North Rhine-Westphalia looks like:

An example of the ballot paper for the 2024 European elections for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Important: Take your identity card and voting rights with you to the polls!

Voting citizens are: at least 16 years old and in Voters register are registered – this usually happens automatically if you live in Germany. No later than the 21st day before the election, the municipal council will inform those entitled to vote with a voting message, stating the address of the polling station and whether it is barrier-free, the voting time and the number under which they are registered. in the electoral register. Anyone who has not received the letter by this time should contact their local authority as soon as possible.

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Further important information about the 2024 European elections

Is there a Wal-O-Mat for the 2024 European elections? Which parties – with which candidates – can be elected in this year’s European elections? And how is the EU Parliament actually structured with its members? The linked article provides an overview of these questions and explains, among other things, voting by post.

The Election notification you should definitely take with you when you go to the polling station – so that voters can prove this entitled to vote Are. It is also advisable to have a valid copy Identification document such as an identity card or a passport to bring with you so that you can identify yourself if requested. Important: If you have forgotten or lost your right to vote, must provide proof of identity.

What makes a ballot invalid?

According to the Federal Returning Officer, an invalid vote occurs in the European elections if the ballot paper is present

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  • is not officially manufactured,
  • does not contain any markings,
  • the will of the voter cannot be clearly identified,
  • contains an addition or reservation.

Marking, which express a political worldview or are ambiguous, will invalidate the vote. That excludes symbols unconstitutional organizations A.

A ballot paper is also invalid if it contains a vote for a party notes that affect voting. The Federal Returning Officer specifically states: “Voting must be limited to a clear, factual vote without personal or political comments.” In addition to labeling, this also includes critical comments, but also explanations about the reasons for voting, expressions of opinions or feelings related to the election or information about the voter.

To ensure that the vote is valid, a simple cross or similar clear sign must always be placed in the appropriate place.

Choosing the right pen

According to Article 50, paragraph 2 of the Federal Electoral Act (BWO), a pen must be available in the voting booth. These include pencils, colored pencils, Copy pens, Ink pens, Biro, Fiber pins, felt tip pens and similar. Also the use of one own pen is permitted.

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Europe radar

What’s happening in Brussels and Europe on the move: our RND correspondent provides EU insights and background information – every Thursday.

Accidentally put the wrong cross on the ballot paper – what now?

According to the BWO, if voters have ‘mistaken’ or ‘accidentally made their ballot paper unusable’, they can receive a new ballot paper. The old ballot paper must first be “destroyed in the presence of a member of the polling station”.

Accessibility: How do visually impaired people vote?

Blind and partially sighted people can appoint someone to help them make their choice. They can mark ballot papers as desired, fold them and throw them in the ballot box. In addition, visually impaired or blind voters can use a template to cast their vote. This allows the disabled person to vote independently and anonymously.

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The ballots have a hole at the top right for better orientation; the tuning templates are curved in the upper right corner. If you are a member of one of the regional associations of the German Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired (DBSV), those involved will automatically receive the templates free of charge before the European elections. The templates for blind people are also available via the DBSV e national hotline. V. (030 285387 0) or on the Website of the regional associations of the DBSV be ordered.

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