Karlsruhe (Germany) – Convicts who are not considered criminally responsible due to mental problems and are placed in psychiatric hospitals cannot automatically be blocked from voting, Germany’s top court announced on Thursday.
Eight people had filed suit after they were blocked from voting in federal elections in 2013.
German law does allow some people to be blocked from voting under certain circumstances. However, the court said a blanket ban on such individuals voting was too broad.
It was also seen as a violation of laws to prevent discriminating against people with disabilities.
The ruling was made on Jan. 29 but only made public.
Germany’s federal appointee for the disabled, Juergen Dusel, said he was thrilled and hoped that this would open the door for more people to participate in European Parliament elections in May.