Bertelsmann Stiftung (ed.)

Prof. Dr. Robert Vehrkamp

EINWURF 2/2013 EN - 2013 Bundestag Election – Why The Low Voter Turnout Harms Germany’s Democracy

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Voter turnout for the 2013 election of Germany’s federal parliament reached its second-lowest level since the founding of the Federal Republic. Almost 30 percent of eligible voters opted not to exercise their right to vote. Growing regional and social disparities in voter turnout are intensifying political inequality. Democratic representation is eroding, and many believe that the democracy is losing internal legitimacy. For this reason, low voter turnout is weakening the democratic system. But German voters are still opposed to statutory compulsory voting.