Low Voter Turnout for the EU Elections (June 13, 2004)
Since 1979, the states of the European Community (and later of the European Union) have held elections to the European Parliament every five years. Over that period, voter turnout in Germany has declined steadily due to a general lack of interest: whereas 65.7 percent of eligible German voters cast ballots in the first European election in 1979, only 45.2 percent went to the polls in 1999. In 2004, turnout was even lower at 43 percent. According to surveys, 51 percent of Germans who participated in the 2004 European election cast their votes on the basis of domestic policy, while 43 percent considered European policy more important. The photograph shows an empty polling station in Bergen on the island of Rügen (Mecklenburg-West Pomerania). Photo: Stefan Sauer.
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