Vienna Election 2020: More than a third of postal voters

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The Vienna City Council elections on October 11, 2020, bring a record number of postal votes. In the meantime, about 340,000 voting cards have been applied for (Friday morning there were 336,000). This already represents 30 percent of the eligible voters.

How the postal vote works
The application period (for personal collection) ends on Friday at 12 noon. Voter turnout should not suffer too much from the Corona pandemic.

Advertising for postal voting due to Corona pandemic
In view of the coronavirus pandemic, the possibility of postal voting was strongly promoted by the City of Vienna and the political parties this year. A large part of the election cards will already be filled out and left at the district election authorities – since mid-September, it has been possible to fill out, sign and hand in the election card directly at the district office or at the election office as soon as you pick it up.

Don’t forget to sign for a postal vote

Postal voters must never forget to sign on the outside of the envelope. This is their sworn declaration that they voted personally, unobserved and uninfluenced – and without this, a voting card cannot be counted.

Voting cards for the Vienna Election 2020 can still be applied for
There is still time to decide between a polling station and a ballot card: because with a written or online application by Wednesday, October 7, you can even have the election documents sent to you by mail. You can apply in person and take your voting cards with you until Friday 12 noon. A written or online application is also possible until then, if an authorized person collects the voting card from the district office or election office by that time.

However, you should not vote by post – because the election card must be received by the district election office at 5 p.m. on Sunday. There you can hand it in yourself or a “messenger” can also hand it in directly (until 5 pm on Sunday) – or another person can bring it to any polling station.

No sharp decline in voter turnout predicted
Since the postal voting option is so well used, a strong slump in voter turnout is probably not to be expected after all. Opinion pollsters who originally feared this are now only expecting a not too sharp decline. In 2015, the Viennese had proven to be extremely eager to vote: The turnout rose by 7.1 points to 74.8 percent – after it had already risen significantly in 2010. Thus, it was again at a similar level as 40 years ago.

The percentage of postal voters in Vienna in 2015 was also already very high: around 157,000 of the total of 833,000 valid votes were cast by voting card, which was 20 percent – and thus already as much as last year (throughout Austria) in the National Council elections.

With already significantly more applications for election cards than in 2015 – in the end, about 40 percent of the votes could be cast by letter – it will take much longer to obtain the complete election results. This is because the postal vote will not be evaluated until Monday, October 12, in the morning. This could even last until Tuesday this year, since the district election authorities must also comply with the Covid protection measures.

— Hector Pascua with reports from Austrian Press Agency.

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