Can’t Vote in Vienna? Here’s Your Chance to Have a Voice

A new project by the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) aims to bring Viennese who are not citizens into the political conversation. And you can be part of it!

Almost 30% of the Viennese population have no right to vote at the city level because they don’t have Austrian citizenship – a classic dilemma in today’s democracies with increasingly international populations. The result: More and more people are subject to laws they have no say in.

To address this, the Austrian Academy of Sciences has launched the project “If no vote, at least a voice.” Researchers are developing a questionnaire based on discussions with people who live here but are not eligible to vote. The results will be delivered to the political parties.

For the first time, wahlkabine’s election questionnaire will include the voices and questions of those who can’t vote.

The answers will then be turned into a digital “Who should I vote for?” public questionnaire on – a digital platform that serves every regional or national election in Austria. Now, for the first time, it will include the voices and questions of those who otherwise can’t vote.

This Means You!

To participate, just sign up here:

  • Ich spreche Deutsch auf einem mittleren Niveau, so dass ich alltäglichen Gesprächen folgen kann.

As with the usual online questionnaires, the project team will specify large blocks of topics, such as labor/economy, social affairs, democracy, education, international affairs, migration, media, art/culture, health, environment.

A micro population of 15-20 people will then be designated to each thematic block, with the aim of representing a group of non-voters as precisely as possible. The micro groups and the scientists of the ÖAW will create a list of questions for the parties running in the 2020 Vienna elections.

This precedent-setting project addresses two key questions of democracy today:

  1. How to deal with the exclusion of ever-larger groups from political discourse?
  2. How to increase voter participation in contemporary democracies? 

Sign up to make your voice heard!

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Benjamin Wolf
Benjamin studied Journalism, History and International Affairs. After stints with Cafébabel in Paris and Arte in Strasbourg, he is now working as managing editor and COO for Metropole in Vienna. Fields of expertise are politics, economics, culture, and history. Photo: Visual Hub

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