2024 Legislative Elections: What’s To Come
Nick Pearce · 30 September 2023
The plenary chamber of the Tepertopian Assembly.
HAPPELSTEIN — In just about four months, the 52nd Tepertopian Assembly will have met for the three years its Assemblypeople were elected to ‒ which of course means that new elections are due, where voters will be able to elect the 100 members of Tepertopia’s federal law-making body for the 2024–2027 legislative period. As always, Der Wahlhelfer will accompany you during the countdown to the election and explain its various intricacies, from the electoral system to the parties and their manifestos. In this first article of the series, we will take a look at how the election season will proceed in general.
Calling the Election
A date for the election is not yet fixed, and will only be once Protector Gerhard and the Council of the Union officially call the election. However, we can deduce a couple possible dates from the constitutional provisions in Article 44 of the Articles of Union.
The date of the election will be announced by Protector and Council on 3 November, 90 days before the Assembly is set to be dissolved. The election itself must take place on a Sunday no sooner than 90 and no later than 120 days from that date ‒ so in this case, between 1 February (Thu) and 2 March (Sat). That leaves us with February 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th as the possible dates the election may happen.
In the past, the election was usually called for the earliest possible date to avoid a lengthy period with no parliament in session, which makes 4 February 2024 seem the most likely election day out of the four.
Starting two weeks after the day the election is called on, candidacy registrations will be open for 30 days.
Everyone eligible to hold elected office ‒ that is, Tepertopians who are at least 18 years old ‒ may register their candidacy with their local election commission. This “independent” registration is, however, only possible for those who also wish to stand as party-unaffiliated independents in one of the 31 constituencies. If you are interested in doing so, you shouldn’t rush to your election official instantly, however! Along with their registration, independent candidates must submit at least fifty signatures supporting their candidacy from voters living in the constituency. Once registrations are opened, you will be able to obtain the form for collecting such signatures, either by showing up in person before your local election official or by visiting the website of the Federal Election Commission, selecting your constituency, and downloading the self-printable version of the form.
Those wishing to stand for a particular political party, on the other hand, must be nominated for their constituency by the party itself, and the party too must be recognized, by the Federal Election Commission. The latter will not pose a problem to any parties which currently have an elected representative in the Assembly or one of the parliaments of the Constituent States ‒ the law considers them “established parties” who are automatically recognized. Smaller parties will have to collect 500 supporter signatures in each State they want to field candidates in, similarly to independent candidates in the constituencies. Concurrently to this, the party will select its candidates for the constituencies according to its own procedures.
After the 30th day of candidacy registrations, the Federal Commission will rule on the recognition of the parties, and the local election commissions will verify the independent candidacies. Should they rule against someone, they have two weeks to challenge the decision in court, after which the list of candidates standing in each constituency is officially published on the 60th day since the election was announced.
Concurrently with the opening of candidacy registrations, the campaign period begins. This is the time you’ll start to see election posters slowly pop up. Things will however mostly get going around two months later, once the candidate lists are finalised. News networks will invite the leaders of parties big and small for interviews, and, traditionally, a grand live debate is held between the leaders of the biggest parties. Most candidates will offer opportunities to talk to them directly during various stations of their campaign trail ‒ such events will probably also take place somewhere near you, so if the personality of your local representative is important to you, keep an eye open for them!
The Federal Agency for Political Education will also update its Policy Polygon (or PoliPoly for short) service ‒ where everyone can answer a questionnaire on their political beliefs and find out how similarly the different parties’ (and, if they join, the different candidates’) policies are to one’s own answers ‒ with new questions relating to our current political issues. If you can’t make up your mind on who to vote for and reading whole manifestos of parties and local candidates just doesn’t sound appealing to you, maybe this service can help you!
On election day itself, voters will head to the polls to elect the 100 Assemblypeople of the 53rd Tepertopian Assembly using the Evaluative Satisfaction System. If you are eligible to vote ‒ the requirements are again to be a Tepertopian of at least 18 years of age ‒ you’ll receive a notification from your local election commission at least thirty days before election day.
You should bring this notification and your ID when you turn up to your local polling station so the poll workers can verify your eligibility to vote more easily! The ballot you receive will list all candidates running in your constituency and give you the option to vote for and against any number of them. Depending on how many voters live in your constituency, between one and seven candidates will win it, with the remaining seats being won at-large in the State ‒ but the exact workings of the system will be the topic for another article in this series!
Once you’ve received the election notification, you can also request a mail-in ballot from your local election commission. This way, you can cast your vote in the comfort of your own home and simply mail it back to the election commission! Just make sure to send it off early enough so it arrives before the in-person polls close.
At 18 o’clock, the polls close and poll workers will start to count the ballots. From this time on, the media are also allowed to publish forecasts based on exit polls, so you’ll be able to get an idea how the new Assembly might look then. Official preliminary results may take some time due to the required two-round count of the ballots, so you should expect them around the early morning of the following day, but partial results are usually published at regular intervals before then as well.
The only true official end result will most likely take quite a lot longer ‒ usually, the Federal Election Commission certifies it around one to two weeks after the election. The new Assembly will meet for its first session at most 30 days after the election. If there are electoral complaints, Art. 47 of the Articles of Union stipulates that the new Assembly will rule on them itself, usually through a committee, with appeal possible to the High Court.
However, it’s still a long way until then, and we hope to see you again for the next article as we walk this year’s campaign trail together!
Related media coverage:
- Tepertopia Today: The Moderates’ Party Congress Meets to Draft 2024 Legislative Manifesto
- Rotkehlchen: 2021’s Election Promises and What Became of Them
- The Happelstein Herald: Five Important Bills That Still Need to Pass the Assembly Before Dissolution