• Germany's news in English

Germans gift foreigners election votes online

The Local · 18 Sep 2013, 14:47

Published: 18 Sep 2013 14:47 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Voters in Germany give away their votes to people from other countries through a Facebook page called Electoral Rebellion. People get in touch with the Germans and pass on their voting preferences ahead of the general election on Sunday.

The German voter then goes to the polling station and ticks the preference of the foreigner. The group has more than 1,000 members.

"The main idea is that we are living in a globalized world with a globalized economy and we believe national democracy is insufficient," Filip Nohe of the activist group Egality Now told The Local.

"Electoral Rebellion is therefore an act of rebellion against an undemocratic system," he said.

"Decisions made in Germany, such as their austerity measures, affect life in Spain directly," said Daniel Correa, one of the Spaniards who will be 'casting' a vote in the German polls on Sunday.

"Those decisions should be made by everyone, and that's why I wanted to vote," Correa told The Local.

Correa, who coordinates the prop-democracy group Citizens for Europe, says he read up on German politics before choosing who to vote for.

"In the end, I've taken a relatively neutral position, because, for me, my vote is more symbolic than anything else."

It's impossible to know how many Germans have given away their votes through Electoral Rebellion but Nohe says there has been plenty of interest from Spain, as well as from Greece, Sweden, Israel and Palestine.

Most foreign voters appear to be left-leaning says the Egality Now spokesperson — although "a small minority" have commented on Facebook that the "Spanish political elite is incompetent" and they are happy to have "German" influence in their politics.

"Some have said our project might be illegal," Nohe told The Local. "We are sure, though, that this is not the case, as the secrecy of the ballet is not compromised.

"Legally, those Germans who are casting their vote as just taking advice from foreigners."

Story continues below…

After the German elections on Sunday, Egality Now will continue to work on similar campaigns and the next US federal elections are on the group's radar.

"This action is not the solution to the problems of national democracy," Nohe said. "But it's a way of drawing attention to an important issue."

Political scientist Professor Michael Wohlgemuth from think-tank Open Europe Berlin said: "It is an unenforceable contract and it is an incredible commitment but it is kind of fun. As a tool for having a discussion about German politics, it could be quite valuable."

George Mills/tsb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
These are Germany's top ten universities
The new library of Freiburg University. Photo: Jörgens.mi / Wikimedia Commons

These are the best universities in all of Germany - at least according to one ranking.

Introducing Swabians - 'the Scots of Germany'
Photo: DPA

These Southern Germans have quite a reputation in the rest of the country.

Woman sues dentist over job rejection for headscarf
Photo: DPA

A dentist in Stuttgart is being taken to court by a woman whom he rejected for a job as his assistant on the basis that she wears a Muslim headscarf.

Isis suspect charged with scouting Berlin attack sites
Photo: DPA

German federal prosecutors said Thursday they had brought charges against a 19-year-old Syrian man accused of having scouted targets in Berlin for a potential attack by the Isis terror group.

Berlin Holocaust memorial could not be built now: creator
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

The architect of the Berlin Holocaust memorial has said that, if he tried to build the monument again today, it would not be possible due to rising xenophobia and anti-Semitism in Germany and the United States.

'Liberal' Germany stopping Europe's 'slide into barbarism'
Ian Kershaw. Photo: DPA

Europe is not slipping into the same dark tunnel of hate and nationalism that it did in the 1930s - mainly thanks to Germany - one of the continent's leading historians has said.

Eurowings strike to hit 40,000 passengers
Travelers impacted by the strike on Thursday wait at Cologne Bonn airport. Photo: DPA.

The day-long strike by a Eurowings cabin crew union is expected to impact some 40,000 passengers on Thursday as hundreds of flights have been cancelled.

Deutsche Bank reports surprise quarter billion profit
Photo: DPA

Troubled German lender Deutsche Bank reported Thursday a surprise €256-million profit in the third quarter, compared with a loss of more than six billion in the same period last year.

US 'warned Merkel' against Chinese takeover of tech firm
Aixtron HQ. Photo: DPA

The German government withdrew its approval for a Chinese firm to purchase Aixtron, which makes semiconductor equipment, after the US secret services raised security concerns, a German media report said Wednesday.

Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd