France and Germany count among the first states in Europe which had established the universal suffrage. 1848 men in Germany were allowed for the first time to vote for the Frankfurt Parliament according to the universal suffrage. For the North German Confederation Otto von Bismark introduced the universal suffrage for men in 1867. In the German Reich there had always been the universal suffrage, from its beginning in 1871.
In Prussia there was the three-class-franchise system according to the tax expenses of the men. The Weimar Republic was announced on Nov. 9, 1918. On Jan 19, 1919 then the election for the National Assembly too place. Besides men, women were allowed to vote for the first time. In the constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany from the year 1949 the suffrages for men and women are equally stated.

Free elections are basis of democracy.
For the parliament elections it is allowed to vote by the age of 18 since 1972 (active right to vote) and it is allowed to be elected (passive right to vote). A few of the federal states have in the meantime lowered the age for voting for the state election. Also the age for voting for the municipal elections in Baden-Württemberg is 16.