The explanation of this term is still based on the Federal Elections Act valid for the 2021 Bundestag election. This page will be updated shortly in view of the most recent amendment to the Federal Elections Act.

Second vote

The second vote shall be cast on the right half of the ballot paper (blue print) in Bundestag elections. The voter casts this vote for a certain party (Land list). Below the party’s name, those of the first five candidates from the Land list are given. Subject to the deviations resulting from the Federal Elections Act, the second vote is decisive for the distribution of seats. Only parties may submit Land lists. The number of seats to be allocated to each party is calculated on the basis of the number of second votes obtained in the federal territory or in the Länder.

Voters have only one vote in European elections.

Legal bases

Sections 4 - 6, 27, 30 of the Federal Elections Act (BWG)
Section 45 of the Federal Electoral Regulations (BWO)

Last update: 20 October 2023