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Hamburgers can now vote at age 16
Photo: DPA

Hamburgers can now vote at age 16

Published: 14 Feb 2013 12:08 GMT+01:00
Updated: 14 Feb 2013 12:08 GMT+01:00

Hamburg's citizens can now vote from the age of 16, with their first chance to make a political mark due in nine months - a state referendum on whether to buy back the electricity network from a private company.

The northern city-state follows Bremen and Brandenburg as the third German state to introduce voting rights for 16- and 17-year-olds for district and state matters.

Schools will inform the teenagers about their rights and duties, Die Welt newspaper said on Thursday. The idea is to generate interest among younger people in democracy and active involvement in politics, said Bärbel Duden, constitutional expert for the Social Democratic Party (SPD).

"First-time voters are the main focus and they will be well prepared for the vote with special lessons," added Christiane Blömeke, children and youth expert for the Greens.

The ruling SPD managed to gather the two-thirds majority in the stat parliament to pass the law with help from the Greens and Left Party, while a number of representatives of the Free Democrats also supported the measure.

The new law also extends the parliamentary period from four years to five, bringing Hamburg into line with all the other German states. The next state election in Hamburg will be in 2015.

The Local/DPA/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:46 February 14, 2013 by whiteriver
I find this article title amusing!
15:25 February 14, 2013 by The-ex-pat
Horseburgers have to wait until they are 17......
16:21 February 14, 2013 by twisted
If they can vote, they should be allowed to run for public office as well. THAT should scare the hell out of sitting office holders.
16:43 February 14, 2013 by Leo Strauss
Now it all makes sense: Hamburgers voting for a bunch of Weeners.
17:10 February 14, 2013 by Bigfoot76
Think the Pirates are going to get a huge boost now?
17:19 February 14, 2013 by DerHirsch
Schnitzels and Hotdogs are upset. They want the same rights and freedoms. Pizza plans a protest.
19:03 February 14, 2013 by The-ex-pat
17:10 February 14, 2013 by Bigfoot76

Think the Pirates are going to get a huge boost now?

You are not wrong. Every kid with a computer full of ripped of software and downloads will vote for them.....
20:03 February 14, 2013 by Englishted
Strange seeing as half the Germans only leave education in time to retire.
21:46 February 14, 2013 by neunElf
Your democracy is doomed if you cannot take your responsibility seriously.

To somehow equate a child and an adult to be equals when deciding public issues, makes a mockery of the democratic process!
01:25 February 15, 2013 by Britanicus
if this gets to Berlin, then Unter den Linden will be renamed Sesam Strasse???
02:01 February 15, 2013 by bellsucks
Putin is becoming more appealing as Supreme-Leader of Europe.
03:20 February 15, 2013 by RainerL
Not one intelligent comment so far. I think it's a good thing for 16 year olds to have a voice. But no younger please!!! We already got Kids having Kids!!!
06:06 February 15, 2013 by hanskarl
The Austrians have a bigger problem as one story caption states in Austo-English...."Bread consummation falls by nearly 50%". Whew!
19:17 February 22, 2013 by Laurence F
They will get more free stuff from the socialists; the only problem is that there will not be money to pay for it.
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