Elections

Abstimmungszettel wird in die Wahlurne gesteckt.Abstimmungszettel wird in die Wahlurne gesteckt.

The Landtag Brandenburg is elected for a period of five years (Article 62 Land Constitution). The President of the Landtag determines the election date in agreement with the Presiding Committee of the Landtag; electoral law in the Land states that it must be a Sunday or statutory public holiday. A new election is held no earlier than 57 months and no later than 60 months after the beginning of the legislative period.

Electoral law includes the right of the individual to vote (active electoral rights) or to be elected (passive electoral rights).

Every citizen is entitled to vote

Every citizen is entitled to vote

who is a German citizen as defined by paragraph 1 of Article 116 of the German Basic Law and has attained the age of 16 (law amending the Constitution of the Land of Brandenburg, GVBL. I no. 30, 19.12.2011) and whose habitual residence has been in the Land of Brandenburg for at least one month. The habitual place of residence of owners of main and second homes is assumed to be the main home.

Persons with no electoral rights are those who have no right to vote as a result of a judicial sentence have an appointed carer to look after their affairs or who are in a psychiatric hospital by order, due to an illegal act committed while not criminally responsible or in a state of diminished responsibility.

Every citizen is eligible for election

Every citizen is eligible for election who is a German citizen as defined by paragraph 1 of Article 116 of the German Basic Law and has attained the age of 18 and whose habitual residence has been in the Land of Brandenburg for at least three months.

A person not eligible for election is someone who is disqualified by electoral law is not eligible for election or entitled to hold public office as a result of a judicial sentence is a German citizen as defined by paragraph 1 of Article 116 without having German nationality and has acquired this legal status by renouncing German nationality under the law.

Candidates may be nominated by parties, political unions and individuals. Parties and political unions that are not represented by at least one member elected in the Land to the German Bundestag or Landtag must have notified the Land election supervisor in writing of their participation no later than ninety-one days before the elections. The notification must be signed by at least three members of the Land leadership and the statutes and manifesto must be enclosed. It must also be signed by persons entitled to vote to indicate their support.

For candidates proposed at district level – this also applies to individual candidates – at least one hundred signatures from persons entitled to vote in the electoral district are required, and for the list of candidates for election at Land level at least one thousand, but no more than two thousand, signatures are required from persons entitled to vote in the last Landtag elections.

Votes are cast directly in the polling station or by post.

Only those people listed on the electoral register or in possession of a ballot paper are entitled to vote.

Brandenburg currently has 44 electoral districts, each of which elects a member of the Landtag.

As far as possible, the boundaries of electoral districts are drawn up to have similar numbers of residents. The number of residents in an electoral district should not be 25% more or less than the average number of residents over all districts. If this figure exceeds 33%, then the boundaries must be redrawn.

Voting system

Einige Wahlhelfer zählen Stimmzettel aus.Einige Wahlhelfer zählen Stimmzettel aus.

The Landtag consists of 88 members, with 44 elected by a first-past-the-post system in the electoral districts and the remainder by a system of proportional representation from the parties’ lists of candidates for election at Land level, political unions or joint lists of proposed candidates.

A combined system based on a personal vote and proportional representation (personalised proportional representation) is used in Brandenburg. Every voter has two votes, the first to elect a candidate within the electoral district (direct mandate), and the second from a party list or political union (list mandate). The valid second votes are a decisive factor in the distribution of seats.

If a party has won more direct mandates than it is entitled to after the second vote, it keeps these so-called surplus mandates. These surpluses are offset for the other parties by allocating compensatory mandates so that a balance is restored after the second vote. In this way, a maximum of 110 members may take their seats in the Landtag.

The only parties, political unions and candidates on joint party lists to enter the Landtag are the ones that receive 5% of the valid second votes in the constituency or have at least attained a seat in an electoral district. The exception to this is the Sorb list of candidates for election at Land level.

Electoral law in the land regulates any further details.

Contact

Landtag Brandenburg
Alter Markt 1
14467 Potsdam
Phone: (0331) 966-0
Fax: (0331) 966-1210