Representatives of the popular initiative “Democracy for All” have collected more than 25,000 signatures for their demands for an extension of voting rights in Berlin.
The signature lists were handed over to the President of the Berlin House of Representatives, Dennis Buchner, on Tuesday. A total of around 25,500 signatures came together, said alliance spokeswoman Michaela Zimmermann afterwards.
For a so-called popular initiative, with which the state parliament is asked to deal with a topic, 20,000 valid votes are required. A popular initiative is not a referendum that can be used to force voters to vote on a topic.
The alliance calls for the lowering of the voting age in elections to the House of Representatives to 16, voting rights for Berliners without a German passport and the possibility of supporting a popular initiative digitally instead of by signing on paper.
Red-Green-Red and the FDP have already announced that they support lowering the voting age and want to initiate the necessary constitutional changes. The government factions also agree in principle to the right to vote for people without German citizenship.
The alliance also calls for the collection of signatures to be made easier by making it possible to register online. It is difficult to explain why citizens can only sign public and citizens’ petitions on the street. “We expect a public hearing in the House of Representatives,” said Michaela Zimmermann. “And then we’ll see how it goes, we’ll keep pushing.”