"We want to vote!" Campaign

Children at the constitutional court
Goal: To abolish the minimum voting age


wahlen15 children and teenagers, aged between 10 and 17, have submitted a complaint to Germany’s constitutional court. They demand the abolishment of the minimum voting age and, thus, the strengthening of democracy and generational justice. They are supported by the Foundation for the Rights of Future Generations, which is the “most well-known extra-parliamentary think tank for matters of intergenerational justice” (Wirtschaftswoche), as well as the children’s initiative “Plant for the Planet.” Legal assistance is provided by Prof. Michael Quaas, one of “Germany’s best lawyers” according to the Handelsblatt-Ranking 2014. Prof. Quaas has so far supported the campaign free of charge. If the case is accepted and brought to a hearing in Karlsruhe, he will "come to us with a proposal that takes account of the complexity and importance of the matter."

A press conference was held in Berlin on Tuesday 15th July 2014. There were speeches and question-and-answer sessions with Wolfgang Gründinger (Spokesperson for the FRFG), Renate Schmidt ( former Minister for Family Affairs), Jens Spahn (CDU-MP), Felix Finkbeiner (complainant; "Plant for the Planet") and Dr. Lore Maria Peschel-Gutzeit (former Justice Senator).
We offer video material from the event at www.wir-wollen-waehlen.de, which you are welcome to use.

Contesting the general election at the constitutional court has triggered considerable media attention, which we document in our press pages (German).

Campaign Background:

Children had no vote in the 2013 general election. In Germany, more than a million people are unable to exercise their right to vote – just because they are under 18. This means that 17% of the population are being denied their most important political and constitutional right. This goes against the principals of democracy and popular sovereignty and is no longer supportable. We have been working with children and young people in regards to this matter, and together we have started the "Wir wollen wählen!" ("We want to vote!") campaign.

On 20th November 2013, more than a dozen children and young people, together with the FRFG, submitted an electoral complaint to the Bundestag. The Bundestag rejected our complaint on 8th May 2014. On 7th  July 2014 the FRFG flied a complaint before the Federal Constitutional Court, demanding the abolishment of the minimum voting age.

The anthology "Wahlrecht für Kinder? Politische Bildung und die Mobilisierung der Jugend" ("Voting Rights for Children? Political Education and Youth Mobilisation") by Prof. Dr. Klaus Hurrelmann und Dr. Tanjev Schultz was released by 21st July 2014. The book offers a comprehensive overview of current discussions about the voting age.

The FRFG proposes a "right to vote without age limit and with pre-registration" to enable all citizens who want to make use of the right to vote to do so. The FRFG’s policy paper can be found here (German).

If the complaint is approved by the constitutional court, the costs of scientific advice and legal assistance will be incurred. We would therefore like to ask you to support our campaign financially. We have launched an appeal for donations at Better Place. We thank you very much for your support!