Markus Klein, Jan Ballowitz, Per Holderberg, Die gesellschaftliche Akzeptanz einer gesetzlichen Wahlpflicht in Deutschland. Ergebnisse einer repräsentativen Bevölkerungsumfrage in:

ZParl Zeitschrift für Parlamentsfragen , page 812 - 824

ZParl Volume 45 (2014) Issue 4 Browse Volumes:  ZParl Zeitschrift für Parlamentsfragen


Against the background of declining voter turnout in Germany, the introduction of a legal duty to vote has been proposed. Those who advocate the introduction of compulsory voting expect a significant increase of voter turnout. It can be argued, however, that this effect only comes to pass when a legal duty to vote meets the population’s acceptance. To date, this has hardly been studied empirically in Germany. This paper presents the results of a representative population survey, which was conducted on behalf of the authors right before the 2013 German federal election. It turns out that compulsory voting finds only little acceptance among German citizens. Only a third of the population supports its introduction. Is compulsory voting connected with sanctions for non-voters, support drops even lower. In this case, only eleven percent of the population is in favour of introducing a legal duty to vote. Adoption compulsory voting in Germany would therefore encounter significant resistance in the population. Under such circumstances, it seems quite questionable whether compulsory voting would actually enhance the level of turnout. [ZParl, vol. 45, no. 4, pp. 812 - 824]