Postal voting in Hamburg: This is how it works with ballot papers and deadlines
2021 will be a year of absentee voting. More than twice as many people from Hamburg have applied for postal voting so far as at the same time as the previous federal election. But how exactly does it work with the request for postal voting? And when does it have to be in the mailbox? The MOPO answers the most important questions.
Only 20 days left until the federal election – by now everyone in Hamburg should have found an election notification in their mailboxes. State Returning Officer Oliver Rudolf said in the NDR that he expected that in the end half of all Hamburg residents who were eligible to vote would cast their votes by postal vote.
So far, a quarter have applied for postal voting. Four years ago, only 37 percent of all Hamburg residents who were eligible to vote voted for postal votes. According to experts, this year’s postal voting boom is largely due to the pandemic.
How can I apply for postal voting?
Postal voting can be done by post, online, by fax or in person at the voting office. The postal voting application is enclosed with the voting notification. It should be signed and sent in a stamped envelope to the responsible election office. The application can also be submitted by fax. The address and fax number are on the letterhead.
Hamburg’s regional returning officer Oliver Rudolf
Alternatively, the postal vote can also be requested online. There is a QR code on the postal application. Simply scan this code and confirm your personal data online. You can also apply for postal voting on the website hamburg.de/briefwahl. Another option is to vote personally by post at the responsible voting office. For this purpose, voters can: come by with their identity card or passport.
By when do I have to apply for the postal vote?
Online applications for postal voting are possible until September 21st. Those who vote personally at the election office by letter can do so until September 23rd. Voting slip and postal voting documents can be requested up to two days before the election, on Friday, September 24th.
On the Saturday before the federal elections (September 25th) there will also be special opening times for the electoral offices from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. if postal voting documents have not been delivered. These special opening times are also intended for people with a sudden illness who were unable to submit their application. Proof of this must be presented.
How do the first and second votes differ?
All voters have two votes. The cross for the first vote is made on the left side of the ballot paper. With the first vote, a politician from the local constituency can be elected who is to move directly into the Bundestag.You might also be interested in: Bundestag election: Wahl-O-Mat is online – with new functions
With the second vote on the right-hand side of the ballot paper, the voters choose a party and its country list. The second vote decides how many seats the party receives in the Bundestag.
By when do I have to send the voting letter?
The election letter must be received by the district election management by 6 p.m. on election day, September 26th, at the latest. Ballot letters received later can no longer be taken into account when counting votes. In order to ensure that it is received on time, the election letter in Germany should be sent no later than the third working day before the election, i.e. on Thursday, September 23rd.
Help for people with disabilities
The right to vote may only be exercised personally and secretly, even with postal votes. Anyone who cannot fill out the voting slip themselves or bring it to the post due to disabilities may ask other people for help. For this help, certain guidelines apply, which are listed on the ballot paper and in the leaflet on postal voting.
You might also be interested in: Hamburger after the TV triumph: “We just got excited”
People with mobility impairments can find out about the nearest polling station with accessibility by calling 115 or online. You can vote in one of the accessible polling stations in the constituency with your voting slip and your identity card or passport.
The blind or visually impaired can request a voting template and an audio CD with information from the Blind and Visually Impaired Association Hamburg (BSVH) free of charge. Telephone number: (040) 209 40 40 or by email: [email protected] The contents of the CD are also available for download, sorted according to the six constituencies.
Help, I haven’t received any postal ballot papers
No panic. Normally, the voting papers should be in the mailbox within a week of submitting the application. If this has not happened, voters can turn to the responsible electoral office. It is important that on election Sunday do not just go to the polling station with the voting notification. Anyone who is registered for postal voting can no longer vote at the polling station.