European Parliament election 2024

Identifying and combating disinformation

Disinformation is demonstrably false or misleading information spread to influence or deceive the public. There is no central agency tasked with identifying and correcting disinformation in Germany.

The Federal Returning Officer is responsible for identifying and combating disinformation where such information concerns his area of responsibility or the election procedure. The respective providers are responsible for the content of their social networks. The media authorities of the Länder have a supervisory function.

Facts on how the election is protected against cyber attacks

The Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), the Land returning officers and the Federal Returning Officer have determined requirements for securing the transmission of provisional results. The requirements are to ensure a permanently high, state-of-the-art security level for the transmission of the provisional results on election night. In keeping with the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court of 2009, voting machines will not be used in Bundestag and European Parliament elections. Votes are only cast on paper. Polling does not depend on IT security and is therefore not susceptible to manipulation.

Illustration: Establishment of European Parliament election results

Facts regarding the security of the postal ballot

Voters may vote in the polling stations or by post in the European Parliament election. The legislators have taken precautions which rule out manipulation of the entire election result through the abuse of postal voting.

The voting behaviour of those voting in person at the polling station often differs from that of postal voters. This carries no implication of any manipulation. There are various reasons why postal voters may vote differently to their counterparts in polling stations (for example because the supporters of a particular political party have a preference for a specific form of voting).

Illustration: Voting by post and secrecy of the ballot