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Electoral officer and electoral board

The electoral board is composed of the electoral officer as chairperson, his or her deputy and another three to seven board members. By virtue of the law, the deputy also is a member of the electoral board. There must be at least five board members and there may be nine at most. Whenever necessary, the local authority of the municipality has to provide to the electoral board any helpers it may need. The members of the electoral board should be appointed from among the registered voters of the municipality. During their term of office, the members of the electoral board may not wear any visible sign indicating a political conviction.

The electoral officers and their deputies are appointed by the Land government or the agency designated by it and engaged by the local authority of the municipality.

The board members are appointed by the electoral officer or the local authority of the municipality. Wherever possible, they should be appointed from among the registered voters of the municipality and again from among the registered voters of the polling district.

The number of board members (three to seven) depends on the size of the polling district. The electoral officer appoints the keeper of the minutes and his or her deputy from among the board members.

The local authority of the municipality must inform the members of the electoral board in detail of their duties so that the proper course of the poll is guaranteed.

 

The duties of the electoral officer and the electoral board include:

Electoral officer

  • appoint the keeper of the minutes and his or her deputy,
  • commission the members to an impartial performance of their duties and to observe secrecy
  • open and close the voting procedure,
  • supervise the polling act,
  • correct the voters’ register,
  • finish the minutes,
  • announce the election result,
  • report the election result established for the polling district,
  • perform other electoral activities

Electoral board

  • control the voting procedure in general,
  • safeguard the secrecy of the ballot, maintain public order in the polling station,
  • decide on the admission or rejection of a voter,
  • decide on the validity of ballot papers and votes,
  • decide on any problems arising in the voting procedure and the counting of votes,
  • establish the election result for the polling district

Mobile electoral board

Where necessary and possible, mobile electoral boards should be established for polling in smaller hospitals and senior citizens’ homes or nursing homes, cloisters, socio-therapeutic institutions and penal institutions. A mobile electoral board consists of the electoral officer of the relevant polling district or his or her deputy and two members of the electoral board. However, the municipal authority may entrust the mobile electoral board of another polling district of the municipality with the collection of the ballot papers.

Legal bases

Bundestag election:

Sections 8 to 11, 31, 32, 37, 38, 40 of the Federal Elections Act (BWG)
Sections 5 to 8, 49, 52 to 75 of the Federal Electoral Regulations (BWO)

European election:

Sections 5, 18 of the European Elections Act (EuWG)
Section 4 of the European Elections Act (EuWG) in conjunction with Sections 8 to 11, 31, 32 of the Federal Elections Act (BWG)
Sections 5 to 8, 42, 45 to 68 of the European Electoral Regulations (EuWO)

Last update: 1 January 2016