The Administrative Court in Hanover has declared the motivation and information campaign for the election conducted for the run-off election for the regional president of Hanover on 15 June 2015 to be illegal. Although the Administrative Court did not invalidate the election in its judgment dated 9 February 2016 (case no.: 1 A 12763/14), the Administrative Court accepted in major areas the line of argument of the Hamburg GvW partner Prof Dr Christian Winterhoff.
Prof Dr Winterhoff had already represented the current plaintiffs in proceedings objecting to the election and argued there that the approach taken by the regional election commission was illegal (more). The Administrative Court Hanover has now confirmed that the measures used by the regional election commission to increase the participation in the election were illegal. The court held in the first place that the regional election commission could no longer take any measures to increase the participation in the election after completion of the first round because governmental bodies were held to be required to refrain from having any effect on the behavior of the electorate in the "sensitive phase" before the run-off election.
Secondly, the court held that the measures which were taken were illegal because they could not have the same effect in the entire area covered by the election. This was held to apply especially for the means of information used in urban railway stations and aircraft in the local airline üstra which primarily had an effect in the area around the State Capital City of Hanover.
The fact that the election was not declared invalid despite illegality of the campaign to motivate and provide information about the election is based solely on the fact that the Administrative Court found that the mistake during the election did not have any so-called relevancy for the result. The court was not able to find that refraining from the illegal measures would have led to a different result in the election, which is an additional prerequisite for the success of an objection against an election based on the Election Law for Local Communities of Lower Saxony.