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A vote is an instrument of the collective declaration of intent of a collegiate body or a group of people on given facts or election proposals by casting one vote . It is used for decision-making and resolution.


Voting follows predetermined rules. This may for example by the Constitution , laws , statutes , articles of association , rules of procedure , ordinance , assembly decision or by common law be defined; usually a show of hands or standing up vote. This makes it easier for the chairman of the meeting to count the votes to determine the majorities ; in case of doubt, a cross- check is advisable. A written vote using voting cards (anonymously or by name, for example at general meetings ) is also possible. Mostly the simple (so-called relative) majority, i.e. the majority of the votes cast, decides, whereby abstentions are to be considered as votes not cast.


open voting at the Model United Nations

There are different ways of voting. The most common form of voting is yes , no, or abstention . A resolution is passed through a majority, i.e. when a predetermined minimum number of yes-votes has been cast. If there are several proposals on the same topic, the next one is usually voted first.

Sometimes the assembly must first have a quorum before a vote can take place. Another form of resolution is alternative voting. A resolution is reached when a majority votes for one of several proposals.

Votes can be made openly or secretly . The open voting takes place by raising hands, raising, showing the voting card or shouting. Roll-call voting is a special form of open voting. In the German Bundestag there is the mutton jump as a special form of voting .


Votes in the constitutional organs (in Germany e.g. the German Bundestag , Bundesrat ) and organizations under international law (e.g. the United Nations ) are of particular importance .

The Basic Law expressly regulates that state power is exercised by the people in votes and elections ( Article 20 (2) sentence 2 of the Basic Law). However, the legal term voting is not legally defined .

For votes z. B. in the German Bundestag , the voting rules are laid down in Section 48 of the Rules of Procedure .

Group pressure, coalition pressure

In parliamentary groups and coalitions , internal test votes are more often carried out in order to make sure of one's own majority before the actual ballot. This is intended to ensure that parliamentary groups and coalitions are required.


Elections , like voting, are a form of decision-making. In elections only people are chosen for a task.

See also


  • Wolfgang Ernst : Small voting primer. Guidelines for the assembly , Neue Zürcher Zeitung book publisher, Zurich, 2011, ISBN 978-3-03823-717-4
  • Hermann Meier: On the rules of procedure: technology and tactics at assemblies, meetings and discussions. 3rd, revised edition. VS-Verlag Wiesbaden 2011, ISBN 978-3531178356 , p. 91ff [1]

Web links

Commons : Voting  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Carl Creifelds , Creifelds legal dictionary , 2000, p. 19 f.
  2. Carl Creifelds, Creifelds Legal Dictionary , 2000, p. 20