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Federal Electoral Regulations

Version as promulgated on 8 March 1994 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 495)

last amended by Article 2 of the Ordinance of 28 August 2000 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 1338)

Section I

Electoral Bodies

Article 1

Federal Returning Officer

The Federal Returning Officer and his or her deputy shall be appointed indefinitely. The Federal Ministry of the Interior shall make the names of the Federal Returning Officer and his or her deputy as well as the addresses of their offices, with telephone, telex and fax numbers, public.

Article 2

Land Returning Officer

The Land Returning Officer and his or her deputy shall be appointed indefinitely. The appointing agency shall notify the Federal Returning Officer of the names of the Land Return-ing Officer and his or her deputy as well as the addresses of their offices, with telephone, telex and fax numbers, and make them public.

Article 3

District Returning Officer

(1) The District Returning Officers and their deputies shall be appointed before each elec-tion. The appointment must be made as soon as possible after the announcement of the date of the general election. The appointing agency shall notify the Land Returning Officer and the Federal Returning Officer of the names and addresses of their offices, with telephone, telex and fax numbers, and make them public

(2) The District Returning Officer and his or her deputies shall carry out the functions of their offices even after the general election, but not beyond the end of the legislative term.

Article 4

Appointment of Electoral Committees

(1) The Federal Returning Officer, the Land Returning Officers and the District Returning Officers shall appoint the members of the Electoral Committees and one deputy for each member as soon as possible after the announcement of the date of the general election.

The members of the Land Electoral Committees and of the District Electoral Committees shall be appointed from among the electorate of the appropriate area; they should, wherever possible, be resident at the seat of the office of the Returning Officer.

(2) In the selection of members of the Electoral Committees, due consideration should generally be given to the political parties in the order of the number of second votes they obtained in the area at the last Bundestag election and the persons eligible to vote nominated by them in due time appointed.

(3) The Electoral Committees shall continue to exist even after the general election, but not beyond the end of the legislative term.

Article 5

Activities of Electoral Committees

(1) The Electoral Committees shall be deemed to have a quorum irrespective of the number of members present.

(2) The chairperson shall designate the venue and time of the meetings. He or she shall invite the members to the meetings, advising them that the Committee is deemed to have a quorum irrespective of the number of members present.

(3) The time, venue and subject of discussion must be made public.

(4) The chairperson shall appoint a protocolist; he or she shall only be eligible to vote if he or she is also a Committee member.

(5) The chairperson shall advise the members and the protocolist of their obligation to carry out the functions of their offices impartially and not to disclose any information to which they have become privy in the course of their official functions.

(6) The chairperson shall be authorized to eject any persons disturbing the peace from the meeting room.

(7) The protocolist shall draw up a record of each meeting; it must be signed by the chair-person, the members and the protocolist.

Article 6

Electoral Officer and Electoral Board

(1) Before each election, an Electoral Officer and his or her deputy, in the case referred to in Article 46 (2) several Electoral Officers and their deputies, must be appointed for each electoral district, wherever possible from among the electorate of the appropriate commune.

(2) The members of the Electoral Board should, wherever possible, be appointed from among the electorate of the appropriate commune, if possible from among the electorate of the electoral district. The Deputy Electoral Officer shall also be a member of the Electoral Board.

(3) The Electoral Officer and his or her deputy shall be advised by the local authority of the commune of their obligation to carry out the functions of their offices impartially and not to disclose any information to which they have become privy in the course of their official functions prior to the start of the poll. The members of the Electoral Board must not visibly wear any sign or symbol indicating political beliefs during the course of their duties.

(4) The Electoral Officer shall appoint the protocolist and his or her from among the members.

(5) The local authority of the commune must inform the members of the Electoral Board of their duties prior to the election in such a manner as to ensure that the poll and the establishment of the election result are conducted properly.

(6) The Electoral Board shall be summoned by the local authority of the commune or by the Electoral Officer on its behalf. It shall assemble at the polling station in good time prior to the start of polling hours on election day.

(7) The Electoral Board shall ensure that the election is conducted properly. The Electoral Officer shall direct the activities of the Electoral Board.

(8) During the poll, at least three members of the Electoral Board, including the Electoral Officer and the protocolist or their deputies, shall be present at all times. All the members of the Electoral Board should be present for the establishment of the election result.

(9) The Electoral Board shall be deemed to have a quorum, during the poll, if at least three members are present, during the establishment of the election result, if at least five members are present, including in each case the Electoral Officer and the protocolist or their deputies. Absent members must be replaced by persons eligible to vote nominated by the Electoral Officer if this is required for the Electoral Board to have a quorum. Such persons shall be advised of their obligation by the Electoral Officer in accordance with Paragraph 3 above.

(10) The local authority of the commune shall provide the Electoral Board whatever auxil-iary personnel is required.

Article 7

Postal Ballot Officer and Postal Ballot Board

Article 6 shall apply as appropriate to Postal Ballot Officers and Postal Ballot Boards, with the following conditions:

1. In the appointment of more than one Postal Ballot Board pursuant to Article 8 (1) of the Law for one constituency and in the appointment of Postal Ballot Boards pursuant to Article 8 (3) of the Law for one or more communes or for each district within a constituency, the number of postal ballot letters allotted to a Postal Ballot Board must not be so small that it becomes evident how individual voters have voted; at least fifty postal ballot letters should be allotted to each Postal Ballot Board.

2. The Land Government or the agency designated by it shall decide how many Postal Bal-lot Boards are to be appointed in the event of an order being issued pursuant to Article 8 (3) of the Law so that the result of the postal ballot can be established on election day itself.

3. Should one Postal Ballot Board be appointed for more than one commune under an order issued pursuant to Article 8 (3) of the Law, one of these communes shall be charged to conduct the postal ballot.

4. The members of the Postal Ballot Boards for the individual constituencies should, wher-ever possible, be appointed from among the electorate of the constituency who are resident at the seat of the office of the District Returning Officer; the members of Postal Ballot Boards for one or more communes or for each district within a constituency should, wherever possible, be appointed from among the electorate resident in the communes or districts.

5. The District Returning Officer shall make the venue and time of the meeting of the Postal Ballot Board public, advise the Electoral Officer and his or her deputy of their obligation to carry out the functions of their offices duties impartially and not to disclose any information to which they have become privy in the course of their official functions, inform the members of the Postal Ballot Board of their duties and summon them; the same shall apply as appropriate to the appointment of two or more Postal Ballot Boards for one constituency. Should Postal Ballot Boards be established for one or more communes or for each district within a constituency, the relevant commune or the local authority of the commune charged pursuant to Paragraph 3 above or the relevant administrative authority of the district shall discharge these duties.

6. The Postal Ballot Board shall be deemed to have a quorum,

for the approval or rejection of ballot letters pursuant to Article 75 (1) and (2), if at least three members are present,

for the establishment of the postal ballot result pursuant to Article 75 (3), if at least five members are present,

including in each case the Electoral Officer and protocolist or their deputies.

Article 8

Mobile Electoral Board

Mobile Electoral Boards are to be appointed wherever necessary and possible for voting in smaller hospitals, smaller senior citizens' or nursing homes, monasteries, convents and sociotherapeutic and penal institutions. The Mobile Electoral Board shall comprise the Electoral Officer of the cognizant polling district or his or her deputy and two members of the Electoral Board. The local authority of the commune may also, however, instruct the Mobile Electoral Board of another polling district in the commune to take receipt of the ballot papers.

Article 9

Honorary Offices

The following persons may refuse an honorary office:

1. members of the Federal Government or of a Land Government,

2. members of the European Parliament, the German Bundestag or a Landtag,

3. persons eligible to vote who will have reached the age of sixty-five by election day,

4. persons eligible to vote who substantiate that care of their family is a particular impedi-ment to carrying out the functions of the office,

5. persons eligible to vote who substantiate that they are prevented from carrying out the functions of the office properly on urgent professional grounds or by illness or infirmity or on other substantial grounds.

Article 10

Reimbursement of Expenses for Holders of Honorary Offices, Refreshment Allowance

(1) Returning Officers and members of the Electoral Committees and Electoral Boards shall receive a travel allowance on the basis of Articles 5 and 6 (1) of the Federal Law on Travel Expenses when they work outside their own polling districts; if they work outside their place of residence, they shall additionally receive subsistence and accommodation allow-ances on the basis of Travel Expense Rate B as defined in the Federal Law on Travel Expenses.

(2) A refreshment allowance of thirty Deutsche Mark, to be added to the subsistence al-lowance referred to in Paragraph 1 above, may be granted to the members of the Electoral Committees for attending a meeting convened under Article 5 of these Regulations and to the members of the Electoral Boards for election day.

Article 11

Fines

Fines imposed pursuant to Article 49a (1) no. 1 of the Law shall be paid into the treasury of the commune in whose voters' register the offender must be registered; fines imposed pursuant to Article 49a (1) no. 2 of the Law shall be paid into the federal government treasury.

Section II

Preparation for the Election

Subsection I

Polling Districts

Article 12

General Polling Districts

(1) Communes with a population of no more than 2,500 shall normally form one polling district. Larger communes shall be divided into several polling districts. The local authority of the commune shall decide which polling districts are to be formed.

(2) The polling districts shall be delimited in accordance with the local conditions so as to make it as easy as possible for the entire electorate to participate in the election. No polling district shall have a population of more than 2,500. The number of persons eligible to vote in a polling district must not be so small it becomes evident how individual voters have voted.

(3) The persons eligible to vote in communal accommodation such as camps, quarters of the Federal Armed Forces, the Federal Border Guard or the police, shall be divided among two or more polling districts on the basis of fixed delimitation criteria. The same shall apply as appropriate to the persons eligible to vote specified in Article 12 (2) of the Law if, pursuant to Article 17 (2) no. 4 of these Regulations, they must be registered in the voters' register of the local authority in Bonn.

(4) The District Returning Officer may combine small communes and parts of communes of the same administrative district to form one polling district, as well as parts of communes that are intersected by constituency boundaries with neighboring communes or parts of communes of another administrative district to form one polling district. He or she shall also determine which commune is to conduct the election.

Article 13

Special Polling Districts

(1) For hospitals, senior citizens' homes, nursing homes for the elderly, nursing homes, convalescent homes and similar establishments with a sizable number of persons who are eligible to vote, but who are unable to go to a polling station outside the establishment, the local authority of the commune is to form whatever special polling districts are required to enable polling card holders to cast their votes.

(2) Two or more establishments may be combined to form one special polling district.

(3) If a special polling district is not formed, Article 8 of these Regulations shall apply as appropriate.

Subsection II

Voters' Register

Article 14

Maintenance of the Voters' Register

(1) The local authority of the commune shall, before each election, compile a register of the persons eligible to vote for each general polling district (Article 12), entering their surnames and forenames, dates of birth and residential addresses. The voters' register may also be maintained by means of an automated process.

(2) The voters' register shall be compiled with serial numbers in alphabetical order of sur-names and, where surnames are identical, of forenames. It can also be subdivided by area, street and house number. It shall contain one column for notes on voting and one column for remarks.

(3) The local authority of the commune shall ensure that the documentation for the voters' registers is available at all times and is so complete that the registers can be compiled in good time for elections.

(4) If a polling district comprises more than one commune or parts of more than one commune, the local authority of each commune shall compile the voters' register for its part of the polling district.

Article 15

(No longer applicable)

Article 16

Registration of Persons Eligible to Vote in the Voters' Register

(1) Officially, all persons eligible to vote are who are registered with the registration authorities on the thirty-fifth day before the election (qualifying date) must be entered in the voters' register.

1. in respect of a domicile,

2. in respect of a seagoing vessel eligible to fly the German flag (Article 12 (4), no. 1 of the Law) and on which they are employed or hired to serve or undergoing training as a cap-tain or crew member,

3. in respect of a vessel in inland navigation enrolled in a ship's register within the Federal Republic of Germany (Article 12 (4), no. 2 of the Law),

4. in respect of a penal institution or similar establishment (Article 12 (4), no. 3 of the Law).

(2) On application those persons eligible to vote shall be entered in the voters' register

1. pursuant to Article 12 (1) of the Law,

a) (deleted)

b) who, without having a domicile, are otherwise habitually resident in the electoral area,

c) who are in a penal institution or similar establishment and must not to be officially entered in the voters' register under Paragraph 1 (4) above,

2. a) pursuant to Article 12 (2), sentence 1, no. 1 of the Law, and

b) pursuant to Article 12 (2), sentence 1, nos. 2 and 3 of the Law,

who are not to be officially entered in the voters' register under Paragraph 1 (1) above.

(3) If a person eligible to vote who must be entered in the voters' register pursuant to Paragraph 1 above moves his or her domicile and registers with the registration authority of the new place of residence prior to the beginning of the period during which the voters' register is to be on public display (Article 17 (1), sentence 2 of the Law), he or she shall be entered in the voters' register of the commune to which he or she has moved on application only. A person eligible to vote and entered in the voters' register pursuant to Paragraph 1 above who registers under a new address within the same commune shall remain entered in the voters' register of the polling district in which he or she was entered on the qualifying date. Upon registration, the person eligible to vote must be informed of the provisions of sentences 1 and 2 above. If the entry in the register is made on application, the local authority of the commune in which the new place of residence lies shall report this immediately to the local authority of the former place of residence, which shall delete the elector from its voters' register. If, in the case specified in sentence 1 above, the local authority of the former place of residence has or later receives a notice of disqualification from voting, it shall immediately forward this information to the local authority of the new place of residence, which shall delete the person from its voters' register; the person concerned must be informed of such a deletion.

(4) Paragraph 3, sentences 1 and 3 shall apply as appropriate to persons eligible to vote who, on the qualifying date, are not registered in respect of a domicile but register with the registration authorities in respect of a domicile prior to the period in which the voters' register is on public display.

(5) If a person eligible to vote who is entered in the voters' register pursuant to Paragraph 1 above occupies another domicile in a different commune, which becomes his or her main residence, or moves his or her main residence to another commune, Paragraph 3 above shall apply as appropriate if he or she registers with the registration authorities prior to the period in which the voters' register is on public display.

(6) Which domicile of a person eligible to vote is his or her main residence shall be deter-mined by the statutory provisions regarding registration.

(7) Before a person is entered in the voters' register, it must be ascertained that he or she meets the voting requirements laid down in Article 12 of the Law and that he or she is not disqualified from voting pursuant to Article 13 of the Law. If registration in the voters' register is based solely on an application, it must also be ascertained that the application has been submitted in due time and form.

(8) If the local authority of a commune does not accede to an application for registration or deletes a person from the voters' register, it must inform the person concerned immediately. The person concerned may appeal against the decision; he or she must be advised of this option. Article 22 (2), (4) and (5) shall apply as appropriate. The periods stipulated for serv-ice of the decision (Article 22 (4), sentence 1) and for a decision on the appeal (Article 22 (5), sentence 4) shall apply only if the objection has been lodged earlier than the twelfth day before the election.

(9) The local authority of the commune must, not later than the qualifying date, advise the management of any penal institution or similar establishment within the commune of the provisions of Paragraph 2 (1), subparagraph (c) above and of the need to inform the persons concerned if the registration laws of the Land do not provide for compulsory registration of the inmates of such establishments.

Article 17

Responsibilities for Registration in the Voters' Register

(1) Responsibility for registration in the voters' register shall lie,

1. in the case specified in Article 16 (1), no. 1, with the commune responsible for the domicile or, if there is more than one domicile, with the commune responsible for the main residence,

2. in the case specified in Article 16 (1), no. 2, with the commune responsible for the seat of the ship owner,

3. in the case specified in Article 16 (1), no. 3, with the commune responsible for the home port of the inland vessel,

4. in the case specified in Article 16 (1), no. 4, with the commune responsible for the penal institution or similar establishment.

(2) Responsibility for registration in the voters' register shall lie,

1. (Deleted)

2. in the case specified in Article 16 (2), no. 1, subparagraph (b), with the commune in which the person eligible to vote spent the night on the qualifying date and to whose competent authority the stay was reported,

3. in the case specified in Article 16 (2), no. 1, subparagraph (c) with the commune responsible for the penal institution or similar establishment,

4. in the case specified in Article 16 (2), no. 2, subparagraph (a), with a neighboring commune in the Federal Republic of Germany if the public employee has established his or her domicile or habitual residence in the immediate vicinity of the border of the Federal Republic of Germany and does not belong to a diplomatic or consular mission of the Federal Republic of Germany. If the public employee is not to be registered in the voters' register of a neighboring commune or belongs to a diplomatic or consular mission of the Federal Republic of Germany, the competent commune is the one in which the highest authority responsible for the employee has its seat. The provisions shall apply as appropriate to members of the employee's household,

5. in the case specified in Article 16 (2), no. 2, subparagraph (b), with the commune in the Federal Republic of Germany in which the person eligible to vote, according to his or her statement, was last registered before leaving the electoral area. Sentence 1 shall also apply to seamen who have been sailing under a foreign flag since leaving the electoral area as well as to boatmen on inland waterways whose vessels are not enrolled in a marine register in the Federal Republic of Germany and to the members of their households. For seamen who, since leaving a vessel which is eligible to fly the German flag, have sailed on a seagoing vessel under a foreign flag, the commune in which the seat of the owner of their former ship is located shall be responsible. For boatmen on inland waterways who, since last sailing on an inland vessel enrolled in a marine register in the Federal Republic of Germany, have sailed on an inland vessel not enrolled in a marine register in the Federal Republic of Germany or on a seagoing vessel under a foreign flag, the commune specified in Paragraph 1 (3) above shall be responsible.

(3) Responsibility for registration in the voters' register shall lie

1. in the case specified in Article 16 (3), with the commune of the new place of residence,

2. in the case specified in Article 16 (4), with the commune in which the person eligible to vote has registered in respect of a domicile or, if there is more than one domicile, in respect of a main residence,

3. in the case specified in Article 16 (5), the commune of the new main residence.

Article 18

Procedure for Registration in the Voters' Register on Request

(1) The application for registration in the voters' register must be made in writing to the competent local authority of the commune not later than the twenty-first day before the election. It must contain the surname, forenames, date of birth and exact address of the person eligible to vote. Except in the cases specified in Paragraph 5, collective applications shall be permissible; they must bear the personal handwritten signatures of all the listed persons. A person eligible to vote who is disabled may to this end avail himself or herself of another person's assistance. Article 57 shall apply as appropriate.

(2) (Deleted)

(3) In the cases specified in Article 16 (2), no. 1, persons eligible to vote are to be listed until election day in the voters' register of the commune which is responsible pursuant to Article 17 (2), no. 2 even if they have reregistered with another registration authority in the electoral area after the qualifying date. They must be informed accordingly upon registration.

(4) In the cases specified in Article 16 (2), no. (2), subparagraph (a), persons eligible to vote who are not to be registered in the voters' register of a neighboring commune or who belong to the staff of diplomatic or consular missions of the Federal Republic of Germany must submit their applications through the commune in which the highest authority responsible for the public employees in question has its seat. That commune must certify that the applicant is eligible to vote pursuant to Article 12 of the Law, is not disqualified from voting pursuant to Article 13 of the Law and is not to be entered by official order in the voters' register pursuant to Article 16 (1), no. 1.

(5) In the cases specified in Article 16 (2), no. 2, subparagraph (b), the person eligible to vote must, when applying for registration in the voters' register as per Annex 2, provide the local authority of the commune certification of his or her enfranchisement by declaring in lieu of an oath that he or she has not applied for registration in the voters' register in any other commune in the electoral area. Requests for application forms and notes for applicants may be submitted to the diplomatic and fulltime consular missions of the Federal Republic of Germany abroad, to the Federal Returning Officer and to the District Returning Officers. If there be doubt about the information provided by the applicant, the local authority must investigate the matter immediately. The Federal Returning Officer must be notified immediately of the registration in the voters' register through the transmission of the duplicate copy of the application as per Annex 2, on which the registration shall be recorded. If the Federal Returning Officer receives notification from more than one local authority of the registration of the same applicant in the voters' register, he or she shall immediately contact any local authority whose notification of registration in the voters' register is received after the first notification to inform it of the registration of the person eligible to vote in the voters' register of the first notifying commune. Any local authority receiving such information from the Federal Returning Officer must delete the person concerned from the voters' register and inform him or her thereof.

(6) If a person eligible to vote specified in Article 12 (2), sentence 1, no. 2 or 3 of the Law returns to the electoral area and registers there in respect of a domicile after the qualifying date but before the beginning of the period in which the voters' register is on public display, he or she shall only be registered in the voters' register of the new place of residence on application and only if he or she has not submitted an application pursuant to Paragraph 5 above and has affirmed this to the local authority. The person eligible to vote is to be advised thereof at the time of application. The local authority of the commune must inform the Federal Returning Officer immediately whenever such a person eligible to vote is registered in the voters' register. Paragraph 5, sentences 5 and 6 shall apply as appropriate.

Article 19

Notification of Persons Eligible to Vote

(1) The local authority of the commune shall notify every person eligible to vote registered in the voters' register by means of a postcard similar to the specimen at Annex 3 not later than the day before the voters' register goes on public display. The notice shall contain

1. the surname, forenames and address of the person eligible to vote,

2. details of the polling station,

3. details of polling hours,

4. the number under which the person eligible to vote is registered in the voters' register,

5. the request to bring the voter's notice to the poll and to have his or her national identity card or passport ready,

6. the instruction that the voter's notice is not a substitute for a polling card and does not therefore confer the right to vote at any polling station other than the one designated,

7. instructions on how to apply for a polling card and how to dispatch postal ballot documents. The instructions must at least contain directions on

a) the fact that the application for a polling card is only to be completed if the person eligible to vote wishes to vote at another polling station in his or her constituency or by postal ballot,

b) the conditions under which a polling card is issued (Article 25 (1) and Article 27 (4), sentence 3),

c) the fact that the polling card may not be applied for by anyone other than the person eligible to vote unless entitlement to apply is certified by submission of a written authority (Article 27 (3)).

Persons eligible to vote registered in the voters' register pursuant to Article 16 (3) to (5) on application must be notified of their registration immediately.

(2) An application form for the issue of a polling card in accordance with the specimen at Annex 4 shall be printed on the reverse of the notification specified in Paragraph 1.

(3) Paragraphs 1 and 2 shall not apply to persons eligible to vote who are registered in the voters' register pursuant to Article 16 (2) by sole reason of an application and have already applied for a polling card and postal ballot documents.

Article 20

Notice of Public Display of the Voters' Register and Issue of Polling Cards

(1) The local authority of the commune shall publicize, not later than twenty-four days be-fore the election and in accordance with the specimen at Annex 5,

1. where, for how long and at what times of day the voters' register will be on public display,

2. that within the display period an objection to the voters' register may be lodged to the local authority of the commune in writing or by means of a minuted statement (Article 22),

3. that persons eligible to vote registered in the voters' register will receive a voter's notice not later than the twenty-first day before the election and that persons eligible to vote registered in the voters' register by sole reason of an application who have already ap-plied for a polling card with postal ballot documents will not receive a voter's notice,

4. where, during what period and under what conditions applications may be submitted for polling cards (Article 25 et seq.),

5. how votes are cast by postal ballot (Article 66).

(2) The diplomatic and full-time consular missions of the Federal Republic of Germany abroad shall make public immediately after the designation of election day:

1. the conditions under which Germans living abroad may participate in the German Bundestag election,

2. where, in what form and within what period such persons must apply for registration in a voters' register in the Federal Republic of Germany in order to participate in the election.

Such public notice is to be given in accordance with Annex 6 by the embassies by means of at least one advertisement in German in both a daily and a weekly national newspaper and by the full-time consulates by means of at least one advertisement in German in a regional daily newspaper. If this cannot be done in particular cases for a substantiated reason or if it appears unjustified, a public notice shall be displayed in the mission premises and, as far as possible, notices shall be issued to relevant known persons to disseminate the aforementioned information.

Article 21

Public Display of the Voters' Register

(1) The local authority of the commune shall display the voters' register at least at the administrative center of the commune and on one day until at least 6 p.m. If an automated process is used to maintain the voters' register, it can also be displayed in such a way as to permit perusal through a data terminal. Care must be taken to ensure that notes (Article 23 (3)) can be read in comprehensible form. The data terminal may only be operated by an employee of the local authority.

(2) If the person eligible to vote so requests, his or her date of birth is to be obscured in the voters' register during the public display period.

(3) Within the public display period, persons eligible to vote shall be allowed to draw ex-cerpts from the voters' register if they do so in the context of verifying the voting rights of specified individuals. The excerpts may be used for this purpose only and must not be made accessible to unconcerned third parties.

Article 22

Objections to the Voters' Register and Appeal

(1) Anyone who deems the voters' register to be incorrect or incomplete may lodge an objection within the public display period.

(2) The objection must be lodged with the local authority of the commune in writing or as a minuted statement. If the assertions are not obvious, the objector must produce the requisite evidence.

(3) If the local authority intends to uphold an objection to the registration of another person, it must give that registered person the opportunity to speak before taking its decision.

(4) The local authority of the commune must serve the objector and the registered person concerned with its decision not later than the tenth day before the election and must advise them of the legal remedies available. When the local authority upholds an objection whose purpose is registration, it shall indicate this, after amending the voters' register, by sending the person eligible to vote a voter's notice. In the cases specified in Article 18 (5) and (6), it shall inform the competent authorities of the registration immediately.

(5) An appeal against the decision of the local authority may be lodged within two days of its service to the District Returning Officer. The appeal must be lodged with the local authority in writing or by means of a minuted statement. The local authority shall submit the appeal with the relevant files to the District Returning Officer immediately. The District Returning Officer must decide on the appeal not later than the fourth day before the election. Paragraph 3 above shall apply as appropriate. The decision on the appeal shall be notified to the persons concerned and to the local authority. It shall be final, unless otherwise decided in electoral scrutiny proceedings.

Article 23

Revision of the Voters' Register

(1) Once the public display period has begun, the inclusion or deletion of persons as well as other amendments to the voters' register shall only be permissible on the grounds of an objection filed in time. Article 16 (2) to (5) and (10), Article 18 (5), sentence 6 and Article 18 (6), sentence 4, as well as Article 30 shall remain unaffected.

(2) If the voters' register is evidently incorrect or incomplete, the local authority of the commune may also rectify the fault ex officio. This shall not apply to faults which are the subject of objection proceedings. Article 22 (3) to (5) shall apply as appropriate. The dead-line stipulated for service of the decision (Article 22 (4), sentence 1) and for decision on the appeal (Article 22 (5), sentence 4) shall only apply if the faults which the local authority may rectify ex officio become evident prior to the twelfth day before the election.

(3) All amendments made after the beginning of the public display period shall be ex-plained in the "Notes" column, showing the date of amendment and bearing the signature of the executive official; in an automated process, the signature shall be replaced by a reference to the responsible official.

(4) After closure of the voters' register, no further amendments may be effected except those provided for in Paragraph 2 in Article 53 (2).

Article 24

Closure of the Voters' Register

(1) The voters' register shall be closed by the local authority of the commune not later than the day before the election but not earlier than the third day before the election. Upon closure, the local authority shall ascertain the number of persons eligible to vote in the polling district. Closure shall be certified in accordance with the specimen at Annex 8. If an automated process is used to maintain the voters' register, a printout must be produced prior to certification.

(2) Voters' registers of two or more communes or parts of communes which are combined to form one polling area shall be combined by the local authority administering the election in the polling district to form the voters' register of the polling district and then closed.

Subsection III

Polling Cards

Article 25

Conditions for Issuing Polling Cards

(1) An person eligible to vote registered in the voters' register shall receive a polling card on application

1. if, during polling hours on election day, he or she will be outside his or her own polling district,

2. if he or she moves to a place of residence in another polling district and has not been registered in the voters' register of the new polling district,

3. if, for professional reasons or as a result of illness, old age or physical infirmity or other-wise on account of his or her physical condition, it would be impossible or unreasonably difficult for him or her to go to the polling station.

(2) A person eligible to vote not registered in the voters' register shall receive a polling card on application

1. if he or she certifies that, through no fault of his or her own, he or she has failed to meet the deadline for application under Article 18 (1) or the deadline for objections under Article 22 (1),

2. if his or her right to participate in the election did not begin until after the periods stipulated in Articles 18 (1) or 22 (1),

3. if his or her right to vote was ascertained by means of the objection proceeding and the ascertainment thereof only came to the attention of the local authority after the closure of the voters' register.

Article 26

Competent Authority, Form of the Polling Card

The polling card, in accordance with the specimen at Annex 9, shall be issued by the local authority of the commune in whose voters' register the person eligible to vote is registered or should have been registered.

Article 27

Applications for Polling Cards

(1) Applications for a polling card may be submitted to the local authority of the commune in writing or personally. Telegrams and telex or fax messages shall also be valid forms of written communication. Application by telephone shall not be permissible.

(2) The applicant must substantiate that there are grounds for issuing a polling card.

(3) Anyone applying on behalf of another person must certify that he or she is authorized to do so by submitting a written authority.

(4) Polling cards may be applied for until 6 p.m. on the second day before the election. In the cases specified in Article 25 (2), polling cards may be issued until 3 p.m. on election day. The same shall apply if the certified onset of sudden illness makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for someone to go to the polling station; in this case, before issuing the poll-ing card, the local authority must inform the Electoral Officer responsible for the elector's polling district, who must proceed in accordance with Article 53 (2).

(5) For persons eligible to vote who, pursuant to Article 16 (2), are registered in the voters' register by sole reason of an application, such an application shall also be considered an application for a polling card unless the elector wishes to vote before the Electoral Board of his or her own polling district.

(6) Written applications which are received too late must be left unprocessed, packed with the accompanying envelopes and put into temporary storage.

Article 28

Issue of Polling Cards

(1) Polling cards must not be issued prior to the approval of nominations by the Land and District Electoral Committees in accordance with Articles 26 and 28 of the Law.

(2) The polling card must be signed personally by the official in charge of issuing it and must bear the official seal. The official seal may be embossed.

(3) Where the application does not indicate that the elector wishes to vote before an Electoral Board, the following shall be appended to the polling card:

1. an official ballot paper for the constituency in accordance with the specimen at Annex 26,

2. an official voting envelope in accordance with the specimen at Annex 10,

3. an official postal ballot envelope in accordance with the specimen at Annex 11, bearing the full address to which the ballot letter is to be sent, as well as the designation of the local authority of the commune which has issued the polling card (issuing office) and the polling card number or polling district, and

4. an information leaflet for postal voters in accordance with the specimen at Annex 12.

The person eligible to vote may still request the postal ballot documents until 3 p.m. on election day at the latest.

(4) The polling card and postal ballot documents may only be handed over to someone other than the person eligible to vote in person in the case of an onset of sudden illness (Article 27 (4), sentence 3), if the authorization to take receipt of the documents is certified by the submission of a written authority and if it is too late for the documents to be posted or delivered officially. Outgoing mail shall be stamped by the local authority. The local authority of the commune shall send the polling card and postal ballot documents to the person eligible to vote by air mail if the application reveals that he or she wishes to vote from an area outside Europe or if this otherwise appears necessary.

(5) If the person eligible to vote collects the polling card and postal ballot documents per-sonally from the local authority of the commune, he or she should be given the opportunity to cast his or her postal vote there and then. Care must be taken to ensure that the voter can mark the ballot paper and place it in the voting envelope without being observed.

(6) The local authority shall maintain a polling card register in which the cases specified in Article 25 (1) and in Paragraph 2 are recorded separately. The register shall be kept as a list or as a collection of the carbon copies of the polling cards. The number under which the polling card is recorded in the polling card register as well as the number under which the person eligible to vote is registered in the voters' register or the name of the envisaged polling district shall be entered on the polling card. Where voters are not registered in the voters' register, a note shall be made on the polling card, confirming that the card has been issued under Article 25 (2) and stating the polling district to which the person eligible to vote will be assigned. If further polling cards are issued after closure of the voters' register, a special register shall be kept for such cards in accordance with sentences 1 to 3 above.

(7) The local authority of the commune shall immediately notify the Federal Returning Of-ficer of any polling card issued pursuant to Article 25 (2) to a person eligible to vote specified in Article 12 (2), sentence 1, nos. 2 and 3 of the Law. 18 (5), sentences 5 and 6 shall apply as appropriate.

(8) If a person eligible to vote who has already received a polling card is deleted from the voters' register, the polling card must be declared invalid. The local authority shall keep a register of such occurrences, recording in it the name of the person eligible to vote and the number of the invalidated polling card; it must amend the polling card register. The local authority shall inform the District Returning Officer, who shall advise all Electoral Boards in the constituency of the invalidity of the polling card. In the cases specified in Article 39 (5) of the Law, a suitable entry shall be made in the polling card register and in the register of invalidated polling cards, stating that the vote of a person eligible to vote who has already participated in the postal ballot is not invalid.

(9) After closure of the voters' register, the local authority of the commune, if the authority itself, another local authority or the district administration is not responsible for administering the postal ballot, shall send the District Returning Officer, by the quickest means available, the register specified in Paragraph 8, sentence 2 and addenda to that register, or a notice that no polling cards have been invalidated, in good enough time for them to be received on the morning of election day at the latest. If another local authority has been charged pursuant to Article 7 (3) to administer the postal ballot, or if the district administration bears that responsibility, the local authority must send the register and the addenda or a notice as described in sentence 1 to the administering authority.

(10) Lost polling cards shall not be replaced. If a person eligible to vote gives a substanti-ated assurance that he or she did not receive the polling card applied for, a new polling card may be issued to such a person until 12 noon on the day before the election; Paragraph 8, sentences 1 to 3 and Paragraph 9 shall apply as appropriate.

Article 29

Issue of Polling Cards to Particular Groups of Persons

(1) The local authority of the commune shall, not later than the eighth day before the elec-tion, contact the managements of

1. the establishments for which a special polling district has been formed (Article 13),

2. smaller hospitals, smaller senior citizens' or nursing homes, monasteries, convents and sociotherapeutic and penal institutions where provision has been made for their occupants who are eligible to do so to cast their votes before a mobile Electoral Board (Articles 8 and 62 to 64),

requesting a register of the persons eligible to vote from the commune who live in the establishment or are employed there and who wish to vote in the establishment on election day. The local authority shall issue polling cards for such persons eligible to vote and send them to the managements of the establishments for prompt distribution.

(2) The local authority shall instruct the managements of the establishments, not later than the thirteenth day before the election,

1. to inform the persons eligible to vote who live in the establishment or are employed there and who are listed in the voters' register of other communes in the same constituency that they may only vote in the establishment if they have obtained a polling card from the local authority in whose voters' register they are registered,

2. to inform the persons eligible to vote who live in the establishment or are employed there and who are listed in the voters' register of communes in other constituencies that they may only exercise their right to vote by postal ballot in their home constituency and for this purpose must obtain a polling card with postal ballot documents from the local authority in whose voters' register they are registered.

(3) The local authority of the commune shall, not later than the thirteenth day before the election, request the military units stationed in the territory of the commune to inform the en-franchised service personnel in accordance with Paragraph 2, no. 2.

Article 30

Notation in the Voters' Register

Whenever a person eligible to vote receives a polling card, the word "Wahlschein" (polling card) or the letter "W" shall be entered in the column for notations on voting in the voters' register.

Article 31

Objections to the Withholding of Polling Cards and Appeal

If the issue of a polling card is refused, an objection may be lodged. Article 22 (2), (4) and (5) shall apply as appropriate. The deadline stipulated for the service of the decision (Article 22 (4), sentence 1) and for the decision on an appeal (Article 22 (5), sentence 4) shall only apply if the objection has been lodged prior to the twelfth day before the election.

Subsection IV

Nominations, Ballot Papers

Article 32

Call for Submission of Nominations

(1) Once the election day has been designated, the District and Land Returning Officers shall, by means of public announcement, call for the earliest possible submission of the nominations and draw attention to the conditions for the submission of nominations laid down in Article 18 (2) of the Law. They shall state where and by what time the notices of participation specified in Article 18 (2) of the Law and the nominations must be submitted and shall draw attention to the provisions governing the content and form of the nominations, to the number of signatures and certificates to be provided in particular cases and to the declarations, minuted records and assurances to be submitted with the nominations (Articles 20, 21 and 27 of the Law).

(2) The Federal Returning Officer shall promulgate details of where, how and during what period exclusions from the combined list of a party may be declared (Articles 7 and 29 of the Law).

Article 33

Notice of Participation by the Parties Specified in Article 18 (2) of the Law, Rectifying of Faults

(1) The Federal Returning Officer shall record the date of receipt on every notice of participation and immediately examine whether it meets the requirements of the Law. Upon discovery of any fault, he or she shall inform the executive committee of the party forthwith and ask it rectify to any rectifiable faults in good time; in so doing, he or she should point out that, as laid down in Article 18 (3) of the Law,

1. after expiration of the stipulated period of notice, faults may be rectified only in notices which are valid per se,

2. after the decision regarding recognition as a political party, any rectifying of faults is in-admissible,

3. the executive committee may appeal to the Federal Electoral Committee against direc-tives issued by the Federal Returning Officer.

(2) The Federal Returning Officer shall invite the associations which have given notice of their participation in the election to the meeting at which the decision is to be taken on their recognition as political parties for the election. He or she shall submit the notices of partici-pation to the Federal Electoral Committee and report on the result of the preliminary exami-nation. Prior to a decision being taken, the persons concerned who are present shall be given the opportunity to speak.

(3) After the recognition process specified in Article 18 (4) of the Law has been completed, the Federal Returning Officer shall announce the decision of the Federal Electoral Commit-tee at the meeting, summarizing the reasons. The decision shall be made public by the Fed-eral Returning Officer.

Article 34

Content and Form of Constituency Nominations

(1) The constituency nomination is to be submitted in accordance with the specimen at Annex 13. It must contain

1. the surname, forenames, occupation or status, date of birth and address (main residence) of the candidate,

2. the name of the submitting party and the shortened form of its name if it uses such a form or, in the case of other constituency nominations (Article 20 (3) of the Law), their identifying word.

It shall also contain the names and addresses of the spokesperson and the deputy spokesperson.

(2) Constituency nominations by parties must bear the personal handwritten signatures of at least three members of the executive committee of the Land branch, including that of the chairperson or his or her deputy. If a party has no Land branch or no unified Land organiza-tion in the Land in question, the constituency nominations must be signed in accordance with the sentence 1 by the executive committees of the next lower regional branches (Article 7 (2) of the Law on Political Parties) in whose area the constituency is situated. The signatures of the submitting executive committee shall suffice if it certifies within the period stipulated for submissions that the Land Returning Officer has received a written authority in accordance with the first sentence above from the other participating executive committees.

(3) For other constituency nominations, three signatories of the nomination must sign the constituency nomination themselves (Annex 13). Paragraph 4, nos. 3 and 4 shall apply as appropriate.

(4) If a constituency nomination must be signed by at least two hundred persons in the constituency who are eligible to vote, such signatures shall be submitted on official forms as per Annex 14, the following provisions being observed:

1. The forms shall be supplied free of charge by the District Returning Officer on request. The request must contain the surname, forenames and address (main residence) of the prospective candidate. As the designation of the nominating body which intends to submit the constituency nomination, if that body is a political party, its name, and the shortened form of its name if it uses such a form, must also be entered; other constituency nominations must bear their identifying word. In addition, parties must confirm that their candidate has been selected at an assembly of party members or at a special or general assembly of delegates held in accordance with Article 21 of the Law. The District Returning Officer must record the information specified in sentences 2 and 3 above at the heads of the forms.

2. The persons eligible to vote who sponsor a constituency nomination must affix their personal handwritten signatures to the declaration on the form; beside the signature, the sur-name, forenames, date of birth and address (main residence) of the signatory as well as the date of signature are to be entered. Persons eligible to vote as defined in Article 12 (2), sentence 1, nos. 2 and 3 of the Law are to certify their right to vote by submitting the information specified at Annex 2 and by giving an affirmation in lieu of an oath.

3. For each signatory, certification by the local authority of the commune in whose voters' register he or she is registered shall be entered on the form or drawn up separately to the effect that at the time of signature he or she is eligible to vote in the constituency in question. Separate certificates of enfranchisement are to be appended to the supporting signa-tures by the nominating body on submission of the constituency nomination. Anyone who applies for a certificate of eligibility to vote on another person's behalf must certify that the person concerned sponsors the nomination.

4. A person eligible to vote may sign only one constituency nomination; if anyone signs more than one constituency nomination, their signature shall be invalid on all nominations.

5. Constituency nominations from parties may only be signed after selection of the candidate by an assembly of members or delegates. Previous signatures shall be invalid.

(5) The constituency nomination must be accompanied by

1. the declaration by the nominated candidate, in accordance with the specimen at Annex 15, that he or she shall accept election and has not given his or her consent to nomination as a candidate in any other constituency,

2. certification by the competent local authority of the commune, in accordance with the specimen at Annex 16, that the nominated candidate is eligible for political office,

3. for constituency nominations by parties, a copy of the record documenting the decision taken by the assembly of party members or delegates at which the candidate was elected, as well as, in the event of an objection pursuant to Article 21 (4) of the Law, a copy of the record of the repeated vote, with the affirmations in lieu of an oath prescribed in Article 21 (6) of the Law; the record should be drawn up in accordance with the speci-men at Annex 17 and the affirmation in lieu of an oath given in accordance with the specimen at Annex 18,

4. the requisite number of supporting signatures, together with certificates of eligibility to vote for the signatories (Paragraph 4, nos. 2 and 3) if the constituency nomination must be signed by at least two hundred persons in the constituency who are eligible to vote.

(6) The certificate of eligibility to vote (Paragraph 4 (3)) and the certificate of eligibility for political office (Paragraph 5 (2) shall be issued free of charge. The local authority may only issue the certificate of eligibility to vote to each person eligible to vote once for a constituency nomination; it must not keep any record showing that the certificate issued relates to a particular nomination.

(7) For candidates who have no domicile in the Federal Republic of Germany and are not otherwise habitually resident there, the Federal Minister of the Interior shall issue the certificate of eligibility for political office. It shall be applied for at the diplomatic or fulltime consular mission of the Federal Republic of Germany responsible for the candidate's place of residence or directly, the necessary certificates being submitted.

Article 35

Preliminary Examination of Constituency Nominations by the District Returning Officer

(1) The District Returning Officer shall record on each constituency nomination the date and, if it is received on the last day of the stipulated submission period, the time of receipt and shall immediately forward one copy each to the Land Returning Officer and the Federal Returning Officer. The District Returning Officer shall immediately examine whether the constituency nominations received are complete and in compliance with the requirements of the Law and these Regulations.

(2) If the District Returning Officer discovers that a candidate nominated in one constitu-ency has also been nominated in another, he shall draw the attention of the District Return-ing Officer of the other constituency to the double candidature.

(3) If an appeal is lodged with the District Electoral Committee pursuant to Article 25 (4) of the Law under the procedure for rectifying faults, the District Electoral Committee must de-cide immediately on the directive issued by the District Returning Officer. The spokesperson for the constituency nomination in question must be given the opportunity to speak.

Article 36

Approval of Constituency Nominations

(1) The District Returning Officer shall invite the spokespersons for the constituency nominations to the meeting at which the decision is to be taken on the approval of the constituency nominations.

(2) The District Returning Officer shall submit all constituency nominations received to the District Electoral Committee and report to it on the result of the preliminary examination.

(3) The District Electoral Committee shall examine the constituency nominations received and decide to approve or reject them. Prior to a decision being taken, the spokesperson for the nomination concerned shall, if present, be given the opportunity to speak.

(4) The District Electoral Committee shall set forth the approved constituency nominations, stating the details required under Article 34 (1), sentence 2. If, in any other constituency nomination (Article 20 (3) of the Law), the identifying word is omitted or conveys the impression that the constituency nomination comes from a political party or is liable to cause confusion with a previously submitted constituency nomination, the constituency nomination shall be given the name of the candidate as its identifying word. If the names of two or more parties or their shortened forms give rise to confusion, the District Electoral Committee shall add a distinguishing designation to one of the nominations; where the Land Electoral Committee has established a means of distinction (Article 41 (1)), such means shall be adopted.

(5) As soon as the decision has been taken by the District Electoral Committee, the District Returning Officer shall announce it at the meeting, summarizing the reasons and indicating the legal remedies that can be used.

(6) The record of the meeting (Article 5 (7)) shall be drawn up in accordance with the specimen at Annex 19; the approved constituency nominations, in the form adopted by the District Electoral Committee, shall be appended to the record.

(7) Immediately after the meeting, the District Returning Officer shall forward a copy of the record to the Land Returning Officer and the Federal Returning Officer, making particular reference to decisions which he or she deems questionable. It shall be incumbent upon him or her to provide the Federal Returning Officer on request with all the information required for an appeal and to make any observations necessary.

Article 37

Appeals against Decisions of the District Electoral Committee

(1) An appeal against a decision of the District Electoral Committee shall be lodged with the District Returning Officer in writing or as a minuted statement. The Federal Returning Officer shall lodge his or her appeal with the District Returning Officer, and the District Returning Officer shall lodge his or her appeal with the Land Returning Officer. Telegrams and telex or fax messages shall also be valid forms of written communication. The District Returning Officer shall inform the Land Returning Officer and the Federal Returning Officer of any appeals lodged immediately and proceed in accordance with the instructions of the Land Returning Officer.

(2) The Land Returning Officer shall invite the appellants, the spokespersons for the constituency nominations concerned, the Land Returning Officer and the Federal Returning Officer to the meeting at which the decision is to be taken on the appeal. The spokespersons shall be given the opportunity to speak.

(3) As soon as the decision has been taken by the Land Electoral Committee, the Land Returning Officer shall announce it at the meeting, summarizing the reasons, and communicate it immediately to the Federal Returning Officer.

Article 38

Promulgation of Constituency Nominations

The District Returning Officer shall arrange the approved constituency nominations under serial numbers in the order stipulated in Article 30 (3), sentences 3 and 4 of the Law and in the notice issued by the Land Returning Officer pursuant to Article 43 (2) and promulgate them. Parties for which a Land list but not a constituency nomination has been approved shall be allocated a blank number. The promulgation shall contain the details stipulated in Article 34 (1), sentence 2 for each constituency nomination; in place of the date of birth, however, only the year of birth of each candidate is to be stated.

Article 39

Content and Form of Land Lists

(1) The Land list should be submitted in accordance with the specimen at Annex 20. It must contain

1. the name of the submitting party and the shortened form of its name if it uses such a form,

2. the surname, forenames, occupation or status, date of birth and address (main residence) of each candidate,

It should also contain the names and addresses of the spokesperson and the deputy spokesperson.

(2) The Land list must bear the personal handwritten signatures of at least three members of the executive committee of the Land branch of the party, including that of the chairperson or his or her deputy. If a party has no Land branch or no unified Land organization in the Land in question, the Land list must be signed in accordance with sentence 1 by the executive committees of the next lower regional branches (Article 7 (2) of the Law on Political Parties) within the Land. The signatures of the submitting executive committee shall suffice if it produces a written authority in accordance with sentence 1 from the other participating ex-ecutive committees within the stipulated submission period.

(3) The parties specified in Article 18 (2) of the Law must furnish the number of signatures also required pursuant to Article 27 (1) of the Law on official forms in accordance with Annex 21. The forms shall be supplied free of charge at the request of the Land Returning Officer. Such requests must contain the name of the party which intends to submit the Land list and the shortened form of its name if it uses such a form. The Land Returning Officer must record this information at the heads of the forms. In all other respects Article 34 (4) shall apply as appropriate.

(4) The Land list must be accompanied by

1. the declarations by the nominated candidates, in accordance with the specimen at Annex 22, that they accept election and have not given their consent to being nominated as candidates in any other Land list,

2. certification by the competent local authority of the commune, in accordance with the specimen at Annex 16, that the nominated candidates are eligible for political office,

3. a copy of the record documenting the decision taken by the assembly of party members or delegates at which the candidates were elected and their order in the Land list was established, together with the affirmations in lieu of an oath prescribed in Article 21 (6) of the Law; the affirmation in lieu of an oath must also contain a statement to the effect that the order of the names of candidates shown in the Land list has been established by secret ballot; the record should be drawn up in accordance with the specimen at Annex 23 and the affirmation in lieu of an oath given in accordance with the specimen at Annex 24,

4. the requisite number of supporting signatures, together with notices of eligibility to vote in respect of the signatories (Paragraph 3, sentence 5), in so far as the Land nomination in question is submitted by a political party as referred to in Article 18 (2) of the Law,

(5) Article 34 (6) and (7) shall apply as appropriate.

Article 40

Preliminary Examination of Land Lists by the Land Returning Officer

(1) The Land Returning Officer shall record on each Land list the date and, if it is received on the last day of the stipulated submission period, the time of receipt and immediately forward one copy to the Federal Returning Officer. The Land Returning Officer shall immediately examine whether the Land lists received are complete and in compliance with the requirements of the Law and of these Regulations.

(2) If the Land Returning Officer discovers that a candidate nominated in one Land list has also been nominated in another Land list, he shall draw the attention of the Land Returning Officer of the other Land to the double candidature.

(3) If an appeal is lodged with the Land Electoral Committee pursuant to Article 27 (5) of the Law in conjunction with Article 25 (4) under the procedure for rectifying faults, Article 35 (3) shall apply as appropriate.

Article 41

Approval of Land Lists

(1) The Land Electoral Committee shall set forth the approved Land lists with the details specified in Article 39 (1), sentence 2 with the definitive order of candidates. If the names of two or more parties or their shortened forms give rise to confusion in the Land, the Land Electoral Committee shall add a distinguishing designation to one or more Land lists.

(2) In respect of the procedure, Article 36 (1) to (3), (5) and (6) shall apply as appropriate. The approved Land lists shall be appended to the record in the form adopted by the Land Electoral Committee. The Land Returning Officer shall immediately forward a copy of the record and its annexes to the Federal Returning Officer.

Article 42

Appeals against Decisions of the Land Electoral Committee

(1) An appeal against a decision of the Land Electoral Committee shall be lodged with the Land Returning Officer in writing or as a minuted statement; the Land Returning Officer shall lodge his or her appeal with the Federal Returning Officer. Telegrams and telex or fax messages shall also be valid forms of written communication. The Land Returning Officer shall inform the Federal Returning Officer of any appeals lodged immediately and proceed in accordance with the latter's instructions.

(2) The Federal Returning Officer shall invite the appellants, the spokespersons for the Land lists concerned and the Land Returning Officer to the meeting at which the decision is to be taken on the appeal. The spokespersons shall be given the opportunity to speak.

(3) The Federal Returning Officer shall announce the decision taken by the Federal Elec-toral Committee at the meeting, summarizing the reasons.

Article 43

Promulgation of Land Lists

(1) The Land Returning Officer shall set forth the final approved Land lists under serial numbers in the order stipulated in Article 30 (3), sentences 1 and 2 of the Law and promulgate them. The promulgation shall list the details stipulated in Article 39 (1), sentence 2 for each Land; in place of the date of birth, however, only the year of birth of each candidate is to be stated.

(2) At the same time, the Land Returning Officer shall communicate to the District Returning Officers the order of the Land lists and the surnames and forenames of the first five candidates.

Article 44

Exclusion from the Combination of Land Lists

(1) The declaration that one or more Land lists of the same political party are to be excluded from the combination of lists (Article 7 of the Law) shall be made to the Federal Returning Officer jointly by the spokesperson and the deputy spokesperson for the Land list concerned in accordance with the specimen at Annex 25. It must contain the designation of each Land list excluded from the combination, stating the name of the party (shortened form) and the Land, and must bear the personal handwritten signatures of the spokesperson and the deputy spokesperson for the Land list in question.

(2) The Federal Returning Officer shall record on each declaration of exclusion the date and, if it is received on the last day of the stipulated submission period, the time of receipt. He or she shall immediately examine the declarations of exclusion received. If the Federal Returning Officer has reservations about a declaration of exclusion, he or she shall communicate them to the spokesperson and the deputy spokesperson for the Land list. Article 25 of the Law shall apply as appropriate.

(3) If the Federal Electoral Committee rejects an exclusion from a combination of lists, the Federal Returning Officer shall intimate this to the spokesperson and the deputy spokesperson for the Land list in question.

Article 45

Ballot Papers, Voting envelopes

(1) The ballot paper shall be at least 21 by 29.7 cm in size (standard German A4 size) and made of white or off-white paper. In accordance with the specimen at Annex 26, it shall contain the following information in the order and numeration of the promulgated nominations and Land lists:

1. for the constituency election, the approved constituency nominations in black type, comprising the surname, forename, occupation or status and address (main residence) of the candidate, the name of the party and the shortened form of its name if it uses such a form or the identifying word in the case of other constituency nominations (Article 20 (3) of the Law) and, to the right of each candidate's name, a circle for the voter's mark,

2. for the Land list election, the approved Land lists in blue type, comprising the name of the party and the shortened form of its name if it uses such a form, the surnames and forenames of the first five candidates and, to the left of the party designation, a circle for the voter's mark.

Each constituency candidate and each Land list shall have a box. The ballot papers must be of the same color and quality in each polling district.

(2) The voting envelopes for ballot box polling should be 11.4 by 16.2 cm in size (standard German C6 size) and bear the official seal of the Land. They must be nontransparent and at least be of uniform size and color in each polling district. If a commune does not receive official voting envelopes in good time, it shall procure envelopes as similar in design as possible and stamp them with the seal of the commune.

(3) The voting envelopes for the postal ballot should be 11.4 by 16.2 cm in size (standard German C6 size), blue and printed in accordance with the specimen at Annex 10.

(4) The postal ballot envelopes for the postal ballot should be approximately 12 by 17.6 cm in size, red and printed in accordance with the specimen at Annex 11.

(5) The District Returning Officer shall allocate the ballot papers with the requisite voting envelopes for ballot box polling to the local authorities of the communes for distribution to the Electoral Officers. He or she shall supply the local authorities with the postal ballot envelopes and voting envelopes required for the postal ballot.

Subsection V

Polling Stations, Polling Hours

Article 46

Polling Stations

(1) The local authority of the commune shall designate a polling station for each polling district. Wherever possible, the commune shall make polling stations available in its own buildings.

(2) In larger polling districts whose voters' registers are divisible, voting may take place in different buildings, different rooms in the same building or at different tables in the same polling station. An Electoral Board shall be appointed for each polling station or table. If two or more Electoral Boards are on duty at one polling station, the local authority shall desig-nate the Board responsible for maintaining public order at the polling station.

Article 47

Polling Hours

(1) Polling hours shall be from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.

(2) In particular cases where special circumstances so dictate, the Land Returning Officer may stipulate that polling shall begin earlier.

Article 48

Public Announcement of the Poll by the Local Authority of the Commune

(1) The local authority of the commune shall publicize the beginning and end of polling hours and details of the polling districts and polling stations in accordance with the specimen at Annex 27 not later than the sixth day before the election; in lieu of a list of the polling districts with their boundaries and polling stations, such information may be provided in the voter's notice. In this notice, the commune shall intimate

1. that the voter has a first and second vote,

2. that the ballot papers are manufactured by the government and will be available at the polling station,

3. the contents of the ballot paper and how it is to be marked,

4. how to use a polling card to vote, particularly by postal ballot,

5. that under Article 14 (4) of the Law each person eligible to vote may exercise his or her right to vote only once and only in person, that under Article 107a (1) and (3) of the Penal Code anyone who votes without authorization, otherwise distorts the result of an election, falsifies the result or attempts to commit any such offense shall be liable to up to five years' imprisonment or a fine.

(2) The public announcement of the poll or an excerpt thereof containing Paragraphs 1, 3, 4 and 6 of Annex 27 shall be posted prior to the beginning of the poll at or in the entrance to the building in which the polling station is located. A specimen ballot paper is to be included with the excerpt.

Section III

The Poll

Subsection I

General Provisions

Article 49

Provision of the Electoral Board

The local authority of the commune shall, prior to the start of the poll, provide the Electoral Officer of each polling district with

1. the voters' register that has been on display,

2. the register of registered persons eligible to vote who have received polling cards after closure of the voters' register,

3. a sufficient quantity of official ballot papers and voting envelopes,

4. an official form for the election record,

5. an official form for the express report,

6. copies of the Federal Electoral Law and these Regulations, which need not contain the annexes to their provisions,

7. a copy of the public announcement of the poll or an excerpt thereof containing Paragraphs 1, 3, 4 and 6 of Annex 27,

8. material for locking the ballot box,

9. Paper bags or wrapping paper and sealing material for packaging the ballot papers and polling cards.

Article 50

Polling Booths

(1) At each polling station, the local authority of the commune shall erect one or more polling booths with tables where the voter shall be able to mark his or her ballot paper and put it in the voting envelope without being observed. The polling booths must be clearly visible from the table of the Electoral Board. An adjoining room accessible only through the polling station may also serve as a polling booth if its entrance is clearly visible from the table of the Electoral Board.

(2) A pen or pencil is to be laid out in the polling booth.

Article 51

Ballot Boxes

(1) The local authority of the commune shall provide the requisite ballot boxes.

(2) The ballot box must be fitted with a lid. The inner height of the box should as a rule be 90 cm, the wall-to-wall distance at least 35 cm. The lid of the ballot box must have a slot no more than 2 cm in width. The ballot box must be lockable.

(3) Smaller ballot boxes may be used for voting in special polling districts and before a Mobile Electoral Board.

Article 52

Polling Table

The table provided for the Electoral Board to sit at must be accessible from all sides. The ballot box shall be placed next to or on this table.

Article 53

Opening of the Poll

(1) The Electoral Officer shall open the poll by commissioning his or her assistants to carry out their duties impartially and not to disclose any information to which they have become privy in the performance of their official functions.

(2) Prior to voting, the Electoral Officer shall amend the voters' register in accordance with the register, listing any polling cards issued after closure of the register (Article 28 (6), sentence 5) by recording the word "Wahlschein" (polling card) or the letter "W" in the column provided for remarks on voting. He or she shall accordingly amend the certificate of closure of the voters' register in the next column provided, adding written confirmation in the relevant space. If the Electoral Officer subsequently receives notice of the issue of polling cards pursuant to Article 27 (4), sentence 3, he or she shall proceed in accordance with sentences 1 and 2.

(3) Before the beginning of the poll, the Electoral Board shall see for itself that the ballot box is empty. The Electoral Officer shall lock the ballot box. It must not be opened again until the poll has been closed.

Article 54

Public Access

During the poll, as well as during the establishment and declaration of the election result, the public shall have access to the polling station if this is possible without disruption of the electoral process.

Article 55

Public Order in the Polling Station

The Electoral Board shall maintain public order in the polling station. In the event of congestion, it shall determine the order of entry to the polling station.

Article 56

Voting

(1) Upon entering the polling station, the voter shall receive an official ballot paper and an official voting envelope. To this end, the Electoral Board may require the voter to show his or her voter's notice.

(2) The voter shall enter the polling booth, mark his or her ballot paper there and put it in the voting envelope there. The Electoral Board shall take care to ensure that only one voter is in a polling booth at any time and that each voter only stays there as long as necessary.

(3) The voter shall then proceed to the table of the Electoral Board and hand over his or her voter's notice. The voter must on demand produce some means of personal identification, particularly if he or she does not hand over the voter's notice.

(4) As soon as the clerk has found the name of the voter in the voters' register and the voter's eligibility to be has been ascertained, and if there are no grounds for turning the voter away pursuant to Paragraphs 6 and 7, the Electoral Officer shall permit the voter access to the ballot box. The voter shall put the voting envelope in the ballot box. The clerk shall record the casting of the vote in the voters' register. The members of the Electoral Board are not authorized, except for the purpose of ascertaining a voter's eligibility to vote, to announce personal details of the voter in such a way that these may be noted by other persons present at the polling station.

(5) The voter is bound to hand over the voting envelope to the Electoral Officer on demand for examination as to whether there are grounds for its rejection. With the consent of the voter, the Electoral Officer may the envelope in the ballot box unopened.

(6) The Electoral Board must turn away any voter who

1. is not registered in the voters' register and does not possess a polling card,

2.does not present a polling card although there is an acknowledgement of receipt in the voters' register (Article 30) unless it is ascertained that the voter is not registered in the polling card register,

3. already has an acknowledgement of voting in the voters' register (Article 58), unless the voter presents proof that he or she has not yet voted,

4. has marked his or her ballot paper or put it in the voting envelope outside the polling booth, or

5. refuses to surrender his or her ballot paper in an official voting envelope or wishes to surrender it in an official voting envelope which evidently differs from the other envelopes in a manner endangering the secrecy of the ballot or which contains a distinctly tangible object.

Any voter fulfilling the requirements stipulated in sentence 1, no. 1 who has not lodged an objection, having assumed on the basis of the notice received by him or her that he or she is registered in the voters' register, must, on being turned away, be informed, if appropriate, that he or she may apply to the local authority for a polling card until 3 p.m.

(7) If an Electoral Officer feels bound to question the eligibility to vote of a person regis-tered in the voters' register, or if any of the Electoral Board expresses doubt about permitting a voter to cast his or her vote, the Electoral Board shall decide on permission or refusal. The decision shall be minuted in the election record.

(8) If the voter makes a mistake on his or her ballot paper or accidentally renders the bal-lot paper or voting envelope unusable, or if the voter is turned away pursuant to Paragraph 6 (4) or (5) above, the voter may request a new ballot paper and, if necessary, a new voting envelope.

Article 57

Voting by Disabled Persons

(1) A voter who is unable to read or who is prevented from marking the ballot paper, put-ting it in the envelope, putting the envelope in the ballot box or handing it over to the Electoral Officer due to a physical disablement shall designate another person of whose assistance the voter wishes to avail himself or herself and intimate this to the Electoral Board. The helper may also be a member of the Electoral Board designated by the voter.

(2) The assistance rendered must be limited to the fulfillment of the voter's wishes. The helper may go to the polling booth together with the voter if the nature of the assistance to be rendered so demands.

(3) The helper is bound not to disclose any knowledge obtained while rendering another person assistance in casting his or her vote.

Article 58

Recording of Votes Cast

The clerk shall record the casting of votes next to the name of the voter in the voters' regis-ter in the column provided for that purpose.

Article 59

Voting by Holders of Polling Cards

The holder of a polling card shall state his or her name, identify himself or herself and hand over the polling card to the Electoral Officer. The latter shall examine the polling card. If there is any doubt about the validity of the polling card or its rightful ownership, the Electoral Board shall clarify the matter as far as possible and decide to grant or refuse the holder permission to vote. The occurrence shall be minuted in the election record. The Electoral Officer shall retain the polling card, also in the event of a refusal.

Article 60

Closure of the Poll

The Electoral Officer shall announce when polling hours are over. Thereafter only those voters already in the polling station shall be permitted to cast their votes. Entry to the polling station is to be prohibited until the voters present have cast their votes. Article 54 must be observed. The Electoral Officer shall then declare the poll closed.

Subsection II

Special Provisions

Article 61

Voting in Special Polling Districts

(1) Permission to vote in special polling districts (Article 13) shall be granted to any person eligible to vote present in the establishment who has a polling card valid for the constituency.

(2) It is permissible to appoint different people as Electoral Board members for the different parts of a special polling district.

(3) The local authority of the commune shall designate a suitable polling station in consultation with the management of the establishment. Different polling stations may be designated for the different parts of a special polling district. The local authority shall set up the polling station.

(4) The local authority shall stipulate the polling hours for the special polling district in consultation with the management of the establishment within the general polling hours and in line with requirements.

(5) The management of the establishment shall provide the persons eligible to vote with details of the polling station and polling hours on the day before the election and advise them of the possibility of voting in accordance with Paragraph 6 below.

(6) The Electoral Officer or his or her deputy and two Board members may also go to the rooms and beds of patients, taking with them a locked ballot box and the requisite ballot papers and voting envelopes. There they shall take receipt of the polling cards and proceed in accordance with Article 59 and Article 56 (4) to (8). In so doing, they must also afford bedridden voters the opportunity to mark their ballot paper and to put it in the voting envelope without being observed. The Electoral Officer or his or her deputy shall advise voters who wish to avail themselves of another person's assistance in casting their vote that they may also use the services of a member of the Electoral Board designated by the voter as a helper. Upon completion of voting, the locked ballot box and the polling cards are to be taken to the polling station of the special polling district immediately. The ballot box shall be kept there, locked, under the supervision of the Electoral Board until the completion of general voting. Its contents shall then be mixed with the contents of the general ballot box and counted together with the other votes cast in the special polling district. The process shall be minuted in the election record.

(7) The public character of the poll as well as of the establishment and declaration of the election result is to be ensured, if possible, through the presence of other persons eligible to vote.

(8) The management of the establishment shall be responsible for isolating patients who have contagious diseases.

(9) The result of the poll in the special polling district must not be established before the end of general polling hours.

(10) In all other respects, the general provisions shall apply.

Article 62

Voting in Smaller Hospitals and Smaller Senior Citizens' or Nursing Homes

(1) The local authority of the commune shall, as required and as far as possible, reach agreement with the managements of smaller hospitals or smaller senior citizens' or nursing homes to permit the persons there eligible to vote who have a polling card valid for the constituency to vote before a Mobile Electoral Board (Article 8).

(2) The local authority shall determine jointly with the management of the establishment the hours of voting within the general polling hours. The management of the establishment shall, if required, provide a suitable polling station. The local authority shall set up the polling station. The management of the establishment shall advise the persons eligible to vote of the time and place of voting

(3) The Mobile Electoral Board shall enter the hospital, senior citizens' home or nursing home, taking with them a locked ballot box and the requisite ballot papers and voting enve-lopes, take receipt of the polling cards and proceed in accordance with Article 59 and Article 56 (4) to (8). The Electoral Officer or his or her deputy shall advise voters who wish to avail themselves of another person's assistance in casting their votes that they may also use the services of a member of the Electoral Board designated by the voter as a helper. Upon completion of voting, the locked ballot box and the polling cards are to be immediately taken to the polling station of the polling district. The ballot box shall be kept there, locked, under the supervision of the Electoral Board until the completion of general voting. Its contents shall then be mixed with the contents of the general ballot box and counted together with the other votes cast in the polling district. The process shall be minuted in the election record.

(4) Article 61 (6) to (8) shall apply as appropriate. In all other respects, the general provi-sions shall apply.

Article 63

Voting in Monasteries and Convents

The local authority should, as required and as far as possible, agree with the directorate of a monastery or convent to provide for voting in the monastery or convent in accordance with Article 62.

Article 64

Voting in Socio-Therapeutic and Penal Institutions

(1) The local authority of the commune must, as required and as far as possible, afford persons eligible to vote in socio-therapeutic and penal institutions who have a polling card valid for the constituency the opportunity to vote in the institution before a Mobile Electoral Board (Article 8).

(2) The local authority shall determine jointly with the management of the institution the hours of voting within the general polling hours. The management of the institution shall provide a polling station. The local authority shall set up the polling station. The management of the institution shall advise the persons eligible to vote of the time and place of voting and shall ensure that they are able to visit the polling station for the purpose of voting.

(3) Article 62 (3) and Article 61 (6) to (8) shall apply as appropriate. In all other respects, the general provisions shall apply.

Article 65

(Repealed)

Article 66

Postal Ballot

(1) Anyone voting by postal ballot shall

mark the ballot paper personally, put it in the official voting envelope and seal the voting envelope,

sign the affidavit regarding the postal ballot printed on the polling card and enter the place and date of signature,

insert the sealed official voting envelope and the signed polling card into the official postal ballot envelope,

seal the postal ballot envelope, and

post the ballot letter to the competent authority specified in Paragraph 2 and designated on the postal ballot envelope in good time. The ballot letter may also be handed in to the authority in question. Once the ballot letter has been received by the competent authority, it may not be returned.

(2) The ballot letters must be received by the District Returning Officer of the constituency for which the polling card is valid. If Electoral Boards are appointed for one or more communes within the constituency by virtue of an order pursuant to Article 8 (3) of the Law, the ballot letters must be received by the local authority which has issued the polling cards; if Postal Ballot Boards are appointed for each district within a constituency, the ballot letters must be received by the administration of the district in which the communes that issued the polling cards are located.

(3) The ballot paper shall be marked and put in the voting envelope without being observed; Article 56 (8) shall apply as appropriate. If the voter has had his or her ballot paper marked by a helper, the latter shall affirm that he or she has marked the ballot in accordance with the stated wish of the voter by signing the affidavit regarding the postal ballot.

(4) In hospitals, nursing and residential homes for the elderly, nursing homes, convalescent homes and socio-therapeutic and penal institutions, as well as collective accommodation, care shall be taken to ensure that the ballot paper can be marked and placed in the voting envelope without being observed. The management of the establishment shall designate a suitable room, have it furnished and equipped and advise the persons eligible to vote of the times at which the room is available for exercise of the postal vote. Article 56 (8) shall apply as appropriate.

(5) The local authority of the commune shall inform the management of the establishments within its commune of the provisions of Paragraph 4 above not later than the thirteenth day before the election.

Section IV

Establishment and Declaration of Election Results

Article 67

Establishment and Declaration of the Election Result in the Polling Districts

Following the poll, the Electoral Board shall, without interruption, establish the election result in the polling district and shall declare

1. the number of persons eligible to vote,

2. the number of actual voters,

3. the number of valid and invalid first votes,

4. the number of valid and invalid second votes,

5. the number of valid first votes cast for each candidate,

6. the number of valid second votes cast for each Land list.

Article 68

Counting of Voters

Prior to the opening of the ballot box, all unused voting envelopes and ballot papers shall be removed from the polling table. The voting envelopes shall then be taken from the ballot box and counted unopened. At the same time, the number of voting endorsements in the voters' register and the number of polling cards collected shall be established. If no consensus is established even after repeated counting, this shall be minuted and, if possible, explained in the election record.

Article 69

Counting of Votes

(1) Once the voting envelopes, the voting endorsements and the polling cards have been counted, two or more Board members shall open the voting envelopes under the supervision of the Electoral Officer, take out the ballot papers and form the following piles of ballot papers, which they shall keep under their charge:

1. piles sorted by Land list with the ballot papers on which the first and second votes have indubitably been cast for the candidate and the Land list of the same party,

2. One pile with the ballot papers on which the first and second votes have indubitably been cast for candidates and Land lists of different nominating bodies, as well as the ballot papers on which only the first or second vote is indubitably valid and the other vote has not been cast,

3. one pile with the empty voting envelopes and the unmarked ballot papers.

Voting envelopes and ballot papers which give cause for doubt and voting envelopes which contain more than one ballot paper shall be set aside and placed in the custody of a Board member designated for this purpose by the Electoral Officer.

(2) The Board members in charge of the ballot papers sorted by Land (Paragraph 1, sen-tence 1, no. 1) shall hand over the piles one by one, some to the Electoral Officer and some to his or her deputy. The latter shall examine whether the ballot papers of each pile all bear the same marks and announce aloud the candidate for whom and the Land list for which the votes in each pile have been cast. If a ballot paper gives the Electoral Officer or his or her deputy cause for doubt, they shall add it to the ballot papers set aside pursuant to the second Paragraph 1, sentence 2.

(3) The Electoral Officer shall then examine the empty voting envelopes and unmarked ballot papers (Paragraph 1, sentence 1, no. 3) which shall be given to him or her for this purpose by the Board member who has custody of them. The Electoral Officer shall announce that in these cases both votes are invalid.

(4) Thereafter, successive groups of two Board members designated by the Electoral Offi-cer shall, under mutual scrutiny, each count one of the piles of ballot papers examined by the Electoral Officer and his or her deputy in accordance with Paragraphs 2 and 3 and establish the number of valid votes cast for the nominations as well as the number of invalid votes. The numbers shall be entered in the election record as subtotals.

(5) The Board member in charge of the pile of ballot papers formed pursuant to Paragraph 1, sentence 1, no. 2 shall hand over the pile to the Electoral Officer. The Electoral Officer shall first sort the ballot papers into new piles according to the second votes for the Land lists and for each ballot paper announce aloud the Land list for which the second vote has been cast. For ballot papers on which only the first vote has been cast, he or she shall announce that the unused second vote is invalid. If a ballot paper gives the Electoral Officer cause for doubt, he or she shall add it to the ballot papers set aside pursuant to Paragraph 1, sentence 2. The piles formed by the Electoral Officer shall then be counted in accordance with Paragraph 4. Thereafter, the Electoral Officer shall rearrange the ballot papers according to the first votes, and the count shall proceed in accordance with sentences 2 to 5. The various numbers of votes shall be entered as subtotals in the election record.

(6) Finally, the Electoral Board shall decide on the validity of the votes cast on the ballot papers which have been set aside. The Electoral Officer shall announce the decision orally and in the case of valid votes say for which candidate or Land list the vote has been cast. He or she shall record on the rear of each ballot paper whether both votes, only the first vote or only the second vote has been declared valid or invalid and mark the ballot papers with serial numbers. The numbers of votes cast shall be entered as subtotals in the election record.

(7) The number of invalid votes cast and of votes cast for the nominations, as ascertained pursuant to Paragraphs 4 to 6 above, shall be added up by the clerk and entered in the election record. Two Board members designated by the Electoral Officer shall verify the calculation. If a member of the Electoral Board requests a recount of the votes prior to the signature of the election record, the procedure stipulated in Paragraphs 1 to 6 above shall be repeated. The reasons for the recount shall be minuted in the election record.

(8) The Board members designated by the Electoral Officer shall collect

1. the ballot papers on which the first and second votes, or the first vote only, have been cast, sorted according to the candidates who have received the first vote,

2. the ballot papers on which the second vote only has been cast,

3. the voting envelopes surrendered empty and the unmarked ballot papers,

4.the voting envelopes which have given cause for doubt and the accompanying ballot papers, the ballot papers which have given cause for doubt and the voting envelopes containing more than one ballot paper, in separate bundles and shall keep them under their charge.

Article 70

Announcement of the Election Result

Following the establishment of the election result in accordance with Article 67, the Electoral Officer shall announce the election result for the polling district orally, giving the numbers stipulated in the aforementioned provision. Prior to the signature of the election record (Article 72), the result must not be communicated by members of the Electoral Board to any agencies other than those specified in Article 71.

Article 71

Express Reports, Provisional Results

(1) As soon as the election result for the polling district has been established, the Electoral Officer shall report it to the local authority of the commune, which shall compile the election results for all the polling districts in the commune and report the result to the District Returning Officer. If there is only one constituency in the commune, the Electoral Officer shall report the election result to the District Returning Officer. The Land Returning Officer may ordain that election results from the communes within a district be reported through the administrative authority of the district.

(2) The report shall be made by the quickest means (e.g. telephone, telex). It shall contain

1. the number of persons eligible to vote,

2. the number of actual voters,

3. the number of valid and invalid first votes,

4. the number of valid and invalid second votes,

5. the number of valid first votes cast for each candidate,

6. the number of valid second votes cast for each Land list.

(3) Upon receipt of the rapid reports from the local authorities of the communes, the District Returning Officer shall ascertain the provisional election result for the constituency. Taking into account the results of the postal ballot (Article 75 (4)), he or she shall communicate the provisional election result to the Land Returning Officer by the quickest means; in so doing, he or she shall intimate which candidate may be deemed elected. The Land Returning Officer shall report the constituency results continuously to the Federal Returning Officer as soon as each is received.

(4) Upon receipt of the express reports from the District Returning Officers, the Land Re-turning Officer shall establish the provisional numerical election result for the Land and report it by the quickest means to the Federal Returning Officer.

(5) Upon receipt of the express reports from the Land Returning Officers, the Federal Returning Officer shall establish the provisional election result for the electoral area.

(6) After carrying out those verifications which are possible without access to the election records, the Returning Officers shall announce the provisional election results orally or in another appropriate form.

(7) The express reports issued by the Electoral Officers, local authorities of the communes and District Returning Officers shall be made in accordance with the specimen at Annex 28.

Article 72

Election Record

(1) The clerk shall draw up a record of the poll and of the establishment and declaration of the election result in accordance with the specimen at Annex 29. The record is to be approved and signed by the members of the Electoral Board. If a member of the Electoral Board refuses to sign, the reason for refusal shall be minuted in the election record. Decisions taken pursuant to Article 56 (7), Article 59, sentence 3 and Article 69 (6) as well as decisions on occurrences during the poll or during the establishment and declaration of the election result shall be minuted in the election record. Appended to the election record shall be

the ballot papers and voting envelopes on which special decisions have been taken by the Electoral Board pursuant to Article 69 (6), as well as

the polling cards on which special decisions have been taken by the Electoral Board pursuant to Article 59, sentence 3.

(2) The Electoral Officer must hand over the election record with its annexes to the local authority of the commune immediately.

(3) The local authority shall forward the election records of its Electoral Boards to the District Returning Officer by the quickest means. If the commune consists of more than one polling district, it shall append a compilation of the election results for the various polling districts in accordance with the specimen at Annex 30.

(4) Electoral Officers, local authorities and administrative authorities of the districts as well as District Returning Officers must ensure that the election records and their annexes are not accessible to unauthorized persons.

Article 73

Hand-over and Storage of Electoral Documents

(1) Once the Electoral Board has completed its duties, the Electoral Officer shall pack in separate parcels

1. the ballot papers, sorted into bundles for each candidate, a bundle for ballot papers on which only the second vote has been cast and a bundle of unmarked ballot papers,

2. the voting envelopes surrendered empty,

the polling cards collected,

if these items are not appended to the election record, shall close and seal the individual parcels, mark them with a note of their contents and hand them over to the local authority of the commune. Until they are handed over to the local authority, the Electoral Officer must ensure that the documents listed in items 1 to 3 above are not accessible to unauthorized persons.

(2) The local authority of the commune shall store the parcels until authorization is issued for the destruction of electoral documents (Article 90). It must ensure that the parcels are not accessible to unauthorized persons.

(3) The Electoral Officer shall return to the local authority of the commune the documents and equipment made available to him or her under Article 49 as well as the voters' notices collected. The local authority shall retain the voting envelopes for future elections.

(4) The local authority must submit the documents described in Paragraph 1 to the District Returning Officer on demand. If only parts of a parcel are required, the local authority shall break open the parcel in the presence of two witnesses, remove the part demanded and re-seal the parcel. A record of the process shall be drawn up and signed by all participants.

Article 74

Processing of Ballot Letters, Preparations for Establishment and Declaration of the Postal Ballot Result

(1) The authority responsible for the receipt of ballot letters (Article 66 (2)) shall collect the ballot letters unopened and keep them under lock and key. It shall mark the date and time of receipt on each ballot letter received on election day after the close of polling; it shall mark ballot letters received from the day after election day onwards with the date of receipt only.

(2) (repealed)

(3) The responsible authority, which, in cases where a Postal Ballot Board is appointed for more than one commune pursuant to Article 7 (3), is the local authority charged to administer the postal ballot, shall

distribute the ballot letters to the various Postal Ballot Boards,

hand over to each Postal Ballot Board the register of invalidated polling cards, the addenda to that register or a notice that no polling cards have been invalidated (Article 28 (9)),

ensure the provision and furnishing of the polling station, and provide the Postal Ballot Board with any auxiliary staff it requires.

(4) If a Postal Ballot Board has been appointed for two or more communes, the local authorities of the communes must forward to the local authority charged to administer the postal ballot,

by 12 noon on election day, all ballot letters received by them on the previous day, and

by the quickest means after the close of polling, all other ballot letters received before the close of polling by them or by the relevant local sorting offices.

(5) Ballot letters arriving late shall be received by the responsible authority, marked with the endorsements prescribed in Paragraph 1 above and packaged unopened. The parcel shall be closed and sealed, marked with a note of its contents and stored until authorization is issued for the destruction of ballot letters (Article 90). The local authority must ensure that the parcels are not accessible to unauthorized persons.

Article 75

Validation of Ballot Letters, Establishment and Declaration of the Postal Ballot Result

(1) A member of the Postal Ballot Board designated by the Postal Ballot Officer shall open the ballot letters one by one and take out the polling card and the voting envelope. If the polling card is listed in a register of invalidated polling cards or if doubts are expressed about the validity of the polling card, the ballot letter and its contents shall be set aside under the supervision of the Postal Ballot Officer and subsequently processed in accordance with Paragraph 2 below. The voting envelopes taken from the other ballot letters shall be put in the ballot box unopened; the polling cards shall be collected together.

(2) If doubts are expressed about a ballot letter, the Postal Ballot Board shall decide on validation or rejection. The ballot letter must be rejected by the Postal Ballot Board if any of the circumstances described in Article 39 (4), sentence 1, nos. 2 to 8 exist. The number of ballot letters queried, the number validated by special decision and the number rejected shall be minuted in the electoral record. The rejected ballot letters and their contents shall be set aside, marked with a note of the reason for rejection, resealed and allocated a serial number. The senders of rejected ballot letters shall not be counted as voters; their votes shall be deemed uncast (Article 39 (4), sentence 2 of the Law).

(3) Once the voting envelopes have been taken out of the ballot letters and put in the ballot box, but not before the end of the general polling hours, the Postal Ballot Board shall establish and declare the election result, stating the details specified in Article 67 (2) to (6) in accordance with Articles 68 to 70, which shall be applied as appropriate.

(4) As soon as the result of the postal ballot is declared, the Postal Ballot Officer shall re-port it by the quickest means to the District Returning Officer. If Postal Ballot Boards are appointed for one or more communes within the constituency by virtue of an order pursuant to Article 8 (3) of the Law, the Postal Ballot Officer shall report the result of the postal ballot to the local authority responsible for him or her, which shall incorporate it into the express report for the area of the commune; if Postal Ballot Boards are appointed for each district within a constituency, the Postal Ballot Officer shall report the result to the administrative authority of the district, which shall compile the postal ballot results and report them in turn to the District Returning Officer. The express reports shall be made in accordance with the specimen at Annex 28.

(5) A record of the validation of ballot letters as well as of the establishment and declaration of the postal ballot result shall be drawn up by the clerk in accordance with the specimen at Annex 31. Appended to it shall be

1. the ballot papers and voting envelopes on which the Postal Ballot Board has taken special decisions in accordance with Article 69 (6),

2. the ballot letters rejected by the Postal Ballot Board,

3. the polling cards on which the Postal Ballot Board has taken a decision but which have not been rejected.

(6) The Postal Ballot Officer shall hand over the election record and its annexes to the District Returning Officer immediately. If Postal Ballot Boards are appointed for one or more communes or for each district within a constituency, the election record and its annexes shall be handed over to the local authority of the commune, to the local authority charged to administer the postal ballot or to the administrative authority of the district. The competent local authority of the commune or the administrative authority of the district shall forward the election records and their annexes to the District Returning Officer and, if required, append compilations of the postal ballot result in accordance with the specimen at Annex 30. Article 72 (4) shall apply as appropriate.

(7) The Postal Ballot Officer shall pack the electoral documents in accordance with Article 73 (1) and hand them over to the District Returning Officer, who shall store them until their destruction is authorized (Article 90). If Postal Ballot Boards are appointed for one or more communes or for each district within a constituency, the Postal Ballot Officer shall hand over the documents to the authority which appointed the Postal Ballot Board. This authority shall proceed in accordance with Article 73 (2) to (4). Article 72 (4) shall apply as appropriate.

(8) In all other respects, the provisions applying to the Electoral Board shall apply as appropriate to the procedure of the Postal Ballot Board.

(9) The result of the postal ballot shall be incorporated by the District Returning Officer into the express report pursuant to Article 71 (3) and into the compilation of the final election result for the constituency pursuant to Article 76.

(10) If the Federal Returning Officer finds that as a result of natural disasters or by force majeure the regular conveyance of ballot letters has been disrupted in the electoral area, the ballot letters thereby affected shall be deemed to have been received in time if their post-mark indicates that they have been posted not later than the day before the election. In such an event, the ballot letters affected by the occurrence shall be set aside and forwarded to the Postal Ballot Board for the deferred declaration of the postal ballot result as soon as the consequences of the occurrence have been remedied, but not later than the twenty-first day after the election.

Article 76

Establishment and Declaration of the Election Result in the Constituency

(1) The District Returning Officer shall examine the election records of the Electoral Boards for completeness and due form. On the basis of the election records, he or she shall compile the final result of the election in the constituency and of the election by Land list, recording the result by polling districts and Postal Ballot Boards in accordance with the specimen at Annex 30. The District Returning Officer shall compile subtotals for the communes and districts and, in the event of an order pursuant to Article 8 (3) of the Law, for the postal ballot results also. If doubts arise about the proper conduct of the election on account of the election record or for any other reasons, the District Returning Officer shall resolve them wherever possible.

(2) After the report by the District Returning Officer, the District Electoral Committee shall ascertain the election result for the constituency and shall declare

1. the number persons eligible to vote,

2. the number of actual voters,

3. the numbers of valid and invalid first votes,

4. the numbers of valid and invalid second votes,

5. the numbers of valid first votes cast for each candidate,

6. the numbers of valid second votes cast for each Land list.

The District Electoral Committee is authorized to correct figures calculated by the Electoral Board and the erroneous assignment of valid votes as well as to take diverging decisions on the validity of votes cast. It shall make a note in the election record of any unresolved doubts.

(3) The District Electoral Committee shall also declare which candidate is duly elected for the constituency.

(4) If, in the constituency election, the candidate named in any other constituency nomination (Article 20 (3) of the Law) or, in the Land list election, the candidate of a party without an approved Land list in the Land in question has been elected, the District Returning Officer shall call in from each local authority the ballot papers on which a vote has been cast for that candidate and shall add to them the ballot papers received in the postal ballot as well as those bearing votes for that candidate that are appended to the election record. The District Electoral Committee shall declare how many second votes are to be disregarded pursuant to Article 6 (1), sentence 2 of the Law and from which Land lists they are to be deducted.

(5) Following declaration, the District Returning Officer shall announce the election result orally, stating the details specified in Paragraph 2, sentence 1 as well as in Paragraphs 3 and 4.

(6) The record of the meeting (Article 5 (7)) shall be drawn up in accordance with the specimen at Annex 32. The record and the appended compilation of the election result in accordance with the specimen at Annex 30 shall be signed by all members of the District Electoral Committee who attended the meeting.

(7) Following the oral announcement of the final election result, the District Returning Officer shall inform the elected candidate by means of a served notice (Article 87) and advise him or her of the provisions of Article 45 of the Law.

(8) The District Returning Officer shall forward a copy of the record of the meeting and the accompanying compilation to the Land Returning Officer and the Federal Returning Officer by the quickest means.

(9) The District Returning Officer shall inform the Land Returning Officer, the Federal Returning Officer and the President of the German Bundestag immediately upon expiration of the deadline specified in Article 41 (2) of the Law of the date on which the declaration of acceptance by the elected candidate was received or whether the candidate refused election. In the case specified in Article 45, sentence 2 of the Law, the District Returning Officer shall intimate the date on which notice was served.

Article 77

Establishment and Declaration of the Number of Second Votes Cast in each Land

(1) The Land Returning Officer shall examine the election records of the District Electoral Committees and thereafter consolidate the final election results in the constituencies of the Land (Article 76 (2) and (4)), in accordance with the specimen at Annex 30, to attain the final election result for the Land.

(2) After the Land Returning Officer has submitted his or her report, the Land Electoral Committee shall establish the result of the election by Land list in the Land and shall declare

1. the number of persons eligible to vote,

2. the number of actual voters,

3. the numbers of valid and invalid second votes,

4. the numbers of valid second votes cast for each Land list, and

5. in the case specified in Article 6 (1), sentence 2 of the Law, the numbers of second votes for the Land lists to be taken into consideration for the allocation of seats (adjusted numbers).

The Land Electoral Committee is authorized to correct figures calculated by the Electoral Boards and District Electoral Committees.

(3) Following declaration, the Land Returning Officer shall announce the election result orally, stating the details specified in Paragraph 2, sentence 1.

(4) The record of the meeting (Article 5 (7)) shall be drawn up in accordance with the specimen at Annex 33. The Article 76 (6), sentence 2 shall apply as appropriate.

(5) The Land Returning Officer shall forward the Federal Returning Officer a copy of the record of the meeting and the declaration of the result of the election by Land list as well as an abstract of the election results in the constituencies of the Land (Paragraph 1).

Article 78

Final Establishment and Declaration of the Election Result by Land List

(1) The Federal Returning Officer shall examine the election records of the Land Electoral Committees. On the basis of the election records of the Land and District Electoral Committees, he or she shall establish

1. the number of second votes cast for the Land lists of each party,

3. the votes of the various parties as a percentage of the total number of valid second votes cast in the electoral area,

4. the number of constituency seats won by the parties in the electoral area,

5. the adjusted numbers of second votes cast for the Land lists and combined lists of each party,

6. the number of successful constituency candidates that is deducible from the total number of deputies pursuant to Article 6 (1), sentence 3 of the Law.

In accordance with the provision of Article 6 of the Law, he or she shall calculate the number of votes for the Land lists and combined lists of the parties and allocate the seats to the Land lists and combined lists. He or she shall likewise calculate the distribution among the Land lists of the seats obtained by each combined list (Article 7 (3) of the Law).

(2) After the report by the Federal Returning Officer, the Federal Electoral Committee shall ascertain the overall result of the election by Land list and shall declare for the electoral area

1. the number of persons eligible to vote,

2. the number of voters,

3. the numbers of valid and invalid second votes,

4. the numbers of valid second votes accredited to the parties, and

5. the parties which, pursuant to Article 6 (6) of the Law,

a) shall be taken into consideration in the allocation of list seats,

b) shall be disregarded in the allocation of list seats,

6. the adjusted numbers of second votes accredited to the combined lists,

7. the number of seats accredited to the combined lists and Land lists, 8. which Land list candidates have been duly elected.

The Federal Electoral Committee is authorized to correct figures calculated by the Land Electoral Committees.

(3) Following the establishment and declaration of the election result, the Federal Returning Officer shall announce it orally, stating the details specified in Paragraph 2, sentence 1, nos. 1 to 7. At the same time, the Federal Returning Officer shall intimate that he or she will promulgate the declaration defined in Paragraph 2, sentence 1, no. 8 by means of a notice to be posted in the conference room.

(4) Article 76 (6) shall be applied as appropriate.

(5) The Federal Returning Officer shall inform the Land Returning Officers on which Land list candidates have been duly elected.

Article 79

Announcement of Final Election Results

(1) As soon as the declarations are complete,

1.the District Returning Officer shall promulgate the final election result for the constituency, stating the details specified in Article 76 (2), sentence 1 and the name of the elected candidate,

2.the Land Returning Officer shall promulgate the final election result for the Land, stating the details specified in Article 76 (2), sentence 1, nos. 3 to 5 and in Article 77 (2), sentence 1 listed by constituency, and the names of the candidates elected in the Land,

3.the Federal Returning Officer shall promulgate the final election result for the electoral area, stating the details specified in Article 78 (2), sentence 1, nos. 1 to 7, the allocation of seats to parties and other nominating bodies, listed by Land, and the names of the candidates elected in the electoral area.

(2) A copy of their promulgation shall be sent by the Land Returning Officer to the Federal Returning Officer and by the Federal Returning Officer to the President of the German Bundestag.

Article 80

Notification of the Elected Land List Candidates

Following the oral announcement of the final election result by the Federal Returning Officer, the Land Returning Officer shall inform the Land list candidates who have been declared duly elected by the Federal Electoral Committee by means of a served notice (Article 87) and advise them of the provisions of Article 45 of the Law. The Land Returning Officer shall inform the Federal Returning Officer and the President of the German Bundestag, immediately upon expiration of the deadline specified in Article 42 (3) of the Law, of the dates on which the declarations of acceptance by the elected candidates were received and which candidates have refused election. In the case specified in Article 45, sentence 2 of the Law, the Land Returning Officer shall intimate the dates on which notice was served.

Article 81

Scrutiny of the Election by the Land Returning Officers and Federal Returning Officer

(1) The Land Returning Officers and the Federal Returning Officer shall examine whether the election has been conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Electoral Law, the present Regulations and the Federal Voting Machine Ordinance of 3 September 1975 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 2459) as currently applicable. They shall decide, in accordance with the result of their scrutiny, whether an objection to the election is to be lodged (Article 2 (2) of the Electoral Scrutiny Act).

(2) On demand, the District Returning Officers must forward the electoral documents held by themselves, the communes and the district administrations to the Land Returning Officer and through him or her to the Federal Returning Officer. The Federal Returning Officer may require the Land Returning Officers to forward to him or her the electoral documents held by them.

Section V

Deferred Elections, Repeat Elections, Appointment of Successors from the Lists

Article 82

Deferred Elections

(1) As soon as it is established that the election cannot be conducted on account of the death of a candidate, as a result of force majeure, or for any other reason, the District Returning Officer shall cancel the election and publicly announce that a deferred election is to take place. He or she shall inform the Land Returning Officer immediately and the latter the Federal Returning Officer.

(2) If the candidate of an approved nomination dies before the election, the District Returning Officer shall request the spokesperson to nominate another candidate in writing within a given period. The replacement nomination must bear the personal handwritten signatures of the spokesperson and the deputy spokesperson. The procedure laid down in Article 21 of the Law need not be observed, nor are the signatures specified in Article 20 (2) and (3) of the Law. required.

(3) The deferred election shall be conducted with the voters' registers compiled for the general election, in accordance with the nominations approved for the general election, subject to the provisions of Paragraph 2 above, in the polling districts and polling stations designated for the general election, and before the Electoral Boards appointed for the general election.

(4) If the deferred election takes place on account of the death of a constituency candidate, the polling cards issued for the general election shall not be valid for the deferred elec-tion. The competent authorities shall initiate and effect their replacement. Article 28 (3) shall be applied. New polling cards shall be issued in accordance with the general provisions. Any ballot letters with old polling cards which have been received by the authorities designated in Article 66 (2) shall be collected by them and destroyed, with due regard to the secrecy of the ballot.

(5) If the deferred election takes place because the election could not be conducted as a result of force majeure or for any other reason, the polling cards issued for the general election shall remain valid for the deferred election. New polling cards may only be issued by communes of the area in which the deferred election is taking place.

(6) In individual cases, the Land Returning Officer may make adjustments in line with special circumstances.

(7) The Land Returning Officer shall make the date of the deferred election public.

Article 83

Repeat Elections

(1) The electoral process shall only be repeated to the extent deemed necessary resulting from the decision reached in electoral scrutiny proceedings.

(2) If the election is repeated in isolated polling districts only, the boundaries of these dis-tricts must not be altered. In other cases also, the election should, wherever possible, be repeated in the same polling districts used for the general election. New Electoral Boards may be appointed and new polling stations designated.

(3) If the repeat election takes place as a result of irregularities in the compilation and treatment of voters' registers, the process of compiling, putting on public display, revising and closing the voters' register shall be conducted again in the polling districts unless restrictions obtain pursuant to the decision deriving from electoral scrutiny.

(4) Voters who have become disqualified from voting since the general election shall be deleted from the voters' register. If the election is repeated in isolated polling districts only within than six months of the general election, persons eligible to vote to whom a polling card was issued for the general election may only participate in the election if they surrender their polling cards in the polling districts in which the election is being repeated.

(5) Polling cards may only be issued by communes in the area in which the repeat election is taking place. If the election is repeated in isolated polling districts only within six months of the general election, persons who voted by polling card in those districts at the general election shall, upon application, have their polling cards returned with a validity endorsement for the repeat election if they have subsequently moved away from the area of the repeat election.

(6) Nominations may only be amended if such as is required by the decision deriving from electoral scrutiny or if a candidate has died or is no longer eligible for political office.

(7) Within the scope of the decision deriving from electoral scrutiny, the Land Returning Officer may, in individual cases, make adjustments to the procedure for repeat elections in line with special circumstances.

Article 84

Appointment of Successors from the Lists

(1) The Land Returning Officer shall communicate to the Federal Returning Officer and the President of the German Bundestag the surname, forenames, occupation or status and address (main residence) of the successor from the list as well as the date on which the declaration of acceptance was received from the latter. In the case specified in Article 45, sentence 2 of the Law, the Land Returning Officer shall intimate the date on which notice was served.

(2) The Federal Returning Officer shall publicly announce which candidate has entered the German Bundestag and forward a copy of the announcement to the President of the German Bundestag.

(3) A non-elected candidate shall forfeit the right of succession from the list if he or she submits a written statement of renunciation to the Land Returning Officer. The renunciation is irrevocable.