Every five years the members of more than 2.000 local councils in Lower Saxony are elected, i.e. members of regional, administrative district, city and borough councils.
At the same time voters in many local administrative units are called to elect the heads of the district authorities and mayors directly. With us in Braunschweig the city council and borough councils are to be elected this year. There will be no election of a new Lord Mayor because the city council and borough councils are elected for five years whereas the Lord Mayor is elected for eight years.
Who is allowed to vote?
Everyone of the age of at least 16 years who has been registered in the constituency for 3 months or more and holds an EU-passport.
What is the election procedure like?
Local councils are elected according to the tripple vote system. The voter may mark each ballot card tree times. Each of the three marks are of the same value. There are no first vote (for a certain candidate) and second vote (for a party list or a List of a candidate group) as in Bundestag (federal) and Landtag (state) elections. You may cumulate and spread your votes. The voter may give all three to one candidate (cumulate), give each vote to different candidates even on different lists (spread) or give two votes to one and the third vote to another candidate.
Which are the constituencies?
Voting is done in constituencies. In small towns there is one constituency, in large cities there are several constituencies. The constituency where you are to vote is told you in the ballot documents. In Braunschweig there are eight constituencies for the election of the city council. Besides the borough councils are elected in 19 constituencies.
If you are not able to take part in the elections or are not registered in the electoral roll without own fault you may apply for a ballot paper and vote by post. Information about the earliest date to apply for a ballot paper before the election is available via the „Bürgertelefon“ (citizen hotline) of the City of Braunschweig (0531/4704114).
Which matters are decided by the local councils?
Many people think Bundestag (federal) and Landtag (state) elections are more important than local elections. They estimate the opportuities of local councils for actions and decisions as being small. We, the Greens, however are convinced that local political action can be effective even if problems of global dimension are involved. Therefore it is important that the local councils respond to these challenges and take action.