On October 11th the elections to the Vienna City Council and district councils will be held.
What is it about?
Every 5 years elections to the Vienna City Council and district councils are being held. Members of the Vienna City Council will then elect the mayor. The City Council is the controlling organ of the city and holds 100 mandates. It is responsible for the city budget. The 100 members of the City Council are also members of the Vienna Provincial Parlament, since the city of Vienna is a city and province at the same time. The district councils are responsible for their district, being in control of the district budget. Depending on a district’s total population, the district councils have between 40 and 60 members each.
Who is entitled to vote?
Austrian citizens, who had their primary residence in Vienna on July 14th 2020 and who have reached the age of 16 on or before Election Day, are entitled to vote in both elections, to the Vienna City Council and district councils.
People without an Austrian citizenship can only vote in the elections to the district councils, as long as they are EU-citizens, 16 or older, and had their primary residence in Vienna on July 14th 2020.
Because of these regulations, a lot of people living in Vienna cannot vote. In fact, almost a third of the Viennese population is not entitled to vote. Many people criticize that and demand change, for instance easier access to an Austrian citizenship or an extension of voting rights.
What about coronavirus?
Due to the pandemic specific coronavirus protection measures will be in place at the polling station on Election Day. Some polling stations that have been used in recent elections are being exchanged because of their size. This year it is not allowed to vote in retirement houses except for people living there. On Election Day, people have to wear a mouth and nose protection in the polling stations and are asked to bring their own pens.