Voting in Innsbruck – How foreign students get involved in the elections


Despite the change in law, Innsbruck’s electoral regulations remain a toothless paper tiger: there is still no waiting period for students, everyone with their main residence in the capital of Tyrol can participate in the municipal elections.

“Heike from Hannover” is a synonym for thousands of students from EU countries in Innsbruck who will have a say in the upcoming municipal elections and will have a say in the fate of the city for the next six years. Regardless of how long they’ve been in town and how long they’re staying here.

Call before moving
It is sufficient to move your main residence to Innsbruck at short notice, i.e. up to a few weeks before the election date. Calls to do this before Christmas have already appeared in many student-oriented magazines.

More time than just until Christmas
Of course the timing is nonsense. In reality, foreign students who want to vote have much longer to register their primary residence than until Christmas. “The deadline must be between the day the election is announced and the 70th day before election day,” the municipal election authority said. So somewhere between January 10 and early February. Election day is April 14.

Purebred Tyrolean paper tiger
However, the one-year waiting period for participation in elections, as introduced into the Innsbruck electoral regulations about a year ago by the Innsbruck city council, is a pure Tyrolean paper tiger. The passage in question states that anyone who has his main residence in the municipality has the right to vote, “unless he has not been in the municipality for a year and his residence is of course only temporary”.

Passus only works in the village
“But how do you determine that your stay is obviously only temporary?” asks Benjamin Plach, the expert chairman of the city’s legal committee. “This may apply to certain groups who, for example, follow a course here. But they usually don’t have a main residence either.” The passage may work “in small communities due to personal fame, but certainly not in the city of Innsbruck,” Plach explains.

The city council recognized a legal gap
For this reason and also due to constitutional considerations, the restrictive addition was not included in the original form of the Innsbruck electoral regulations. A majority in the municipal council nevertheless recognized a legal gap and demanded an alignment of the two electoral rules, which the Tyrolean state parliament also implemented in October this year.

“Just not manageable”
Now the text of the law is identical for the city and the municipalities, but the regulation still remains toothless – “because it simply cannot be managed,” Plach explains. The Innsbruck city council can perhaps take credit for not sitting idle. And it happened at the same time as the introduction of the four percent hurdle, which is being used for the first time in Innsbruck.

Source: Krone


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:



More like this