What approaches to make the willingness to vote rise are currently being discussed in the political sector?

Introduce compulsory voting

in 2009, the representative of the Bundestag Jörn Thießen (SPD) called for punishing non-voters with a 50 Euro fine for refusing to vote.  Comparison with Belgium.

Stephan Mayer (CDU) and representative required compulsory voting, too, but without any sanctions and with the possibility.

Citizens are required to vote (compulsory voting) in Belgium, Greece, Italy, Luxemburg, Cyprus.

Belgium has a voter turnout between 90 and 92 %.

Greece about 60%

E-voting at parliamentary elections to make the willigness to vote rise

Attempt in 2005 – 2 million cast their votes by means of voting computers

2009- Federal constitutional court bans voting computers due to insufficient transparency.

Every election needs a comprehensible vote counting, but an algorithm counting nullifies that requirement

Estonian citizens can vote online since 2005, meanwhile even via SMS. They previously receive a free SIM card including activation PIN. 25% of the votes cast their votes this way in 2011.

Linking elections to votes on factual issues

Bundestag representative Gregor Gysi suggests linking future parliamentary elections  to national referendums on specific issues.

Every parliamentary group sitting in the Bundestag ought to have the right to ask a Yes/No-question to the population one year prior to the elections. The Federal constitutional court subsequently checks the lawfulness of both answers.

Introducing the right to vote for children and adolescents

A cross-party initiative taken by 46 representatives of the CDU, SPD and FDP resulted in a petition on the introduction of the right to vote from birth.

Parents should be allowed to vote for their children up to a certain age treshold.

The petition failed.

SPD, the Greens and the leftwing party (Die Linke) want the active voting age to be reduced to 16 years.

Further approaches:


Pooling the election dates


Reach out more to the citizens


Promoting the democratic participation of the young.


Introduction of a voting week instead of the traditional election Sunday