Many people are not allowed to vote: they have no German passport, although they have lived in the country for years, or they are under 18. We want to change this – with voting rights from 16 and for everyone.
For many people, access to democratic participation in Berlin is closed. They are not yet 18 years old, or they have no German passport although they’ve lived in the country for years. Participation in referendums is also difficult for many, for example people with mobility impairments.
1. Voting age of 16: immediate reduction of the active voting age from 18 to 16 for elections to the Berlin parliament and referendums
Article 39, Paragraph 3 of the Berlin constitution contains the following wording:
“Eligible to vote are all Germans, who on the day of the election have completed the 16th year of their life and have been living in Berlin for at least three months.”
Young people build the society of tomorrow. Many Berliners are already politically active at 16 years old. But they must still wait until they are 18 before they can vote for the Berlin parliament. In the local elections 2021, many of the larger parties demanded voting rights from 16 in their election programmes. These parties account for 71% of the seats in parliament – enough to write voting age from 16 into the constitution now. Therefore: A voting of age 16 must come immediately, without further delays. Now is the time. Let’s deal with it!
2. Election rights for all: Bundesrat initiative for voting rights for people without German citizenship
Parliament is urged to stand up for a Bundesrat initiative for full active and passive voting rights for all people who have lived in Germany for at least 3 years, on a local, regional and national level and for EU elections .
Over 600,000 people are denied voting rights at local and national elections, as they have no German passport – that is 1 in 5. Berliners without German nationality are also not allowed to support referendums with their signature. The voices of these people must count! We therefore demand voting rights for all people who have lived in Germany for at least 3 years. Democratic participation must not be dependent on nationality.
3. Digital Democracy: Introduction of an electronic voting option for referendums as a supplement to street collections
A regulation should be added to the voting law in which public initiatives and referendums (including the request for a referendum) should include the option of electronic voting in addition to the existing options.
The Corona pandemic has shown that democracy, participation and engagement also take place a thousandfold online! Public initiatives and referendums are an important democratic element of which Berlin is proud. While digitalisation has simplified more procedures in Berlin administration, digital democracy is still exclusively carried out with pen and paper. We say: Democratic participation must also be possible online! A digital signature will never replace registration on paper, but it allows the vote for people who cannot or do not want to sign in the street. For this reason we demand digital signatures for public initiatives and referendums.
The public initiative Demokratie für Alle consist of a broad alliance of civic initiatives and organisation. The public initiative is supported among others by Deutsche Wohnen & Co. enteignen, Expedition Grundeinkommen, Klimaneustart Berlin, Berlin autofrei, Mehr Demokratie e.V., Nicht Ohne uns 14%, Change.org e.V. / innn.it and openPetition.
Samira Ghandour, speaker, Fridays for Future Berlin
Berta Del Ben, activist for Deutsche Wohnen & Co. Enteignen
Raúl Aguayo-Krauthausen, human rights activist and moderator
Miguel Gongóra, former school spokesperson, Berlin
Nora Circosta, Vorständin Change.org e.V. / innn.it
In addition, the following spokespersons have veen elected
Regine Laroche, executive member, Mehr Demokratie Berlin-Brandenburg
Anna Weckert, school student and activist at Klimaneustart Berlin
Sanaz Azimipour, activist, author and co-founder of MigLoom e.V. and the campaign “Nicht ohne Uns 14 Prozent“
Deadline for signatures: 25th March, 2022
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