Voting Rights for All

Die LINKE demands voting rights for those without German citizenship


Germany is home to people from many different places with many different stories. We all live, love and work here together. Yet many people who live here are not allowed to vote and cannot run for elected office. Their vote – their voice – doesn’t count, even if they have lived, worked, and paid taxes here for decades. And more and more people are being affected by this: Nearly 10 million adults cannot vote in the upcoming Bundestag elections.

In some voting districts, almost 30 percent of adults are not eligible to vote. That is a scandal for our democracy!

When so many people are excluded from the franchise, their perspectives and their problems are less visible: poor working conditions and precarious residency status of migrants in places like slaughterhouses and asparagus fields and in nursing and care professions. Immigrants and their descendants* [*Ed. note: The problem begins with the language: immigrants and their children and grandchildren are known in German bureaucratese as “people with a migration background” or history: Menschen mit Migrationsgeschichte] are more often impacted by poverty, marginalization and unemployment, even in later generations. Their children are systematically discriminated against in the educational system. People with “foreign-sounding” surnames are more likely to face problems finding housing and jobs.

DIE LINKE stands for a society in which everyone has an equal opportunity to participate, regardless of their origin, family history or sexual orientation. We say NO to discrimination and racism. Unequal wages, unequal opportunities for a good life — between men and women*, between East Germans and West Germans, between Germans and non-Germans – hurt all of us.

Antiracism requires more than symbolism and lofty yet empty promises. Democracy requires equal rights for everyone. People who live here must also be able to participate in political decision making, so that they can play an equal part in shaping society.

  • Active and passive voting rights. At every level and for all long-term residents of the country.
  • All children and adolescents born here whose parents reside here permanently should be granted German citizenship and have a right to multi-nationality citizenship.
  • Immigrants should have a legal right to naturalized citizenship after five years of residency in the Federal Republic.
  • We demand legalization options for people without resident status as well as effective right-to-stay rules for people who are forced to live with no secure visa status or those with multiple extensions of a “tolerated stay” visa (Duldung).
  • We reject deportations, particularly in cases of war, persecution and misery or as a form of double jeopardy.


Translation of a leaflet by die LINKE. Translation by Julie Niederhauser