Press release no. 27/17 of September 20, 2017

Representative electoral statistics in the 2017 Bundestag Election

Representative electoral statistics make it possible to analyse the voting behaviour of men and women, age-specific differences and the structure of voters and non-voters in the territory of the Federal Republic and in the individual Länder at Bundestag and European elections. It is a way to obtain a reliable picture of how various population groups in Germany take part in political life.

Representative electoral statistics will not be compiled in all polling districts. Instead, a random sample of about 2,261 will be drawn from approximately 73,500 ballot box districts and a sample of about 480 from approximately 500 postal ballot districts by means of a mathematical-statistical procedure. The ballot papers used in those polling districts will have distinctive characteristics printed on them for women and men by six age groups. To determine the voter turnout, the number of persons who were entitled to vote and of those who have actually voted will also be analysed on the basis of the voters’ registers, broken down by sex and ten age Groups.

The secrecy of the ballot is safeguarded by the provisions of the Law on Electoral Statistics. The ballot papers will not bear any personal data but only have anonymous distinctive characteristics printed on them for sex and age group. The counting of the ballot papers and the evaluation of the voters’ registers will be performed strictly separate in organisational terms. Also, minimum sizes have been defined for the polling districts selected. There have to be at least 400 registered voters per ballot box district selected in the 2017 Bundestag election, and postal ballot districts had to have at least 400 voters each in the last Bundestag election of 2013. In addition, results of individual polling districts must not be published.

More detailed information on how representative electoral statistics are compiled for the 2017 Bundestag election is available on the website of the Federal Returning Officer at


For further Information:
Office of the Federal Returning Officer
tel: +49 611 75-4863