Only 13 percent of German citizens in some of the country’s biggest cities have been able to cast their vote in upcoming elections after local authorities failed to issue or register them with identification, the European Press Agency reported.
On the night of Sunday, 31 March, some political observers feared that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party, whose coalition with the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) may be threatened by a populist surge in recent elections, could not reach the necessary level of voter turnout of at least 40 percent for a majority in the European Parliament.
Thanks to data displayed by EU elections authorities, which showed 57.27 percent of voters from the districts of Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg had been registered by authorities as citizens of the countries in which they live, it seemed that would be the case. The actual turnout on the night of 31 March, however, was lower than expected: 35.78 percent of voters in Berlin, 39.13 percent in Munich, and 36.77 percent in Hamburg.
“If they see that it’s 70 percent or 70 percent, they’re likely to want to vote anyway, but a few percentage points are really important. If you need a third of a percentage point to be elected, it’s enough to throw out the majority leader of the German Bundestag, ” renowned researcher Svengis Martinener told the Associated Press.