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Elections in Austria


Size: approx. 84.000 km²
Population: approx. 8,000.000 inhabitants
Austria is a democratic republic whose law emanates from the people. Its head of state is the Federal President. Austria is composed of nine autonomous provinces named Burgenland, Carinthia, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol, Vorarlberg, and Vienna. The provinces have specific executive powers, but no separate court system, and maintain provincial parliaments with select legislative powers. They have their own provincial electoral authorities and electoral legislation. For nation-wide elections, specific federal laws are in force.  Basic principles and provisions governing elections on all political levels are laid down in the Federal Constitution. The federal parliament is bi-cameral. It comprises a lower chamber (national council) and an upper chamber (federal council).

  • Nation-wide elections: National Council Elections (= National Parliamentary Elections), European Elections, Presidential Elections 
  • Provincial elections: Provincial Parliamentary Elections, Municipal Elections, Mayoral Elections (where applicable)

All elections are in accordance with the principles of universal, equal, direct, secret, free, and personal right to vote.

Key elements of the voting system:

  • nation-wide elections (nation-wide electoral legislature)
  • provincial and municipal elections (provincial electoral legislature)
  • proportional election system
  • list voting system
  • exception: election of Federal President (the candidate receiving more than 50% of all valid votes is elected. If this majority is not achieved, a second ballot is necessary).

Electoral Register:

  • In Austria, there is no need to apply for registration as all citizens with a permanent residence in the country are kept in a permanent register, maintained by the municipalities
  • Every person shall only be registered once in said register. For European Parliamentary elections, a separate European Electoral Register is maintained.

Voting Right:

Active right to vote: 16 or above.

Passive right to vote: 18 or above.

In general, the Austrian citizenship is a pre-condition to enjoy the active and passive rights to vote (exception: in European Elections and Municipal Elections citizens of EU member states also enjoy voting rights)

Extra Information: Suffrage for Women: In 1918 universal suffrage was extended to women for the first time. In 1919 the first eight women – seven Social Democrats and one Christian Socialist – entered parliament after the elections to the Constituent National Assembly.


Federal Ministry of the Interior
Department III/6 - Electoral Affairs
P.O. Box 100, A-1014 Vienna
Phone: +43-(0)1-53126-2464

BM.I Bundesministerium für Inneres, Abteilung III/6, 1010 Wien, Telefon: +43-1-53126-2464 |  Kontakt

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