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The Aktion Mensch “Polling Station Tester”

How barrier-free is Germany's voting?

Challenge / Approach

Voting is a fundamental right. And yet nearly 10 % of the entire German population are usually unable to take part in political debates. Electoral programs lack services for people with disabilities such as explanations in plain language, templates for the blind or accessible entry to the polling stations. Being a member of a political party as a disabled person is rather rare. As a result, in the summer of 2013 Aktion Mensch ran a campaign in cooperation with Klenk & Hoursch to draw attention to these circumstances.


The campaign “Polling Station Tester” was launched one month before the Bundestag elections. For a week, Raul Krauthausen (the initiator of “Sozialhelden” e.V. “Social Heroes” and, Michael Wahl (journalist and blind footballer) and Petra Groß (expert on “easy language”) went to find out the answer to the question: “How accessible is voting for Germans?”. They were constantly under the watchful eye of politicians and the press, accompanied by Guildo Horn (entertainer and graduate pedagogue) as their VIP bus driver.

Klenk & Hoursch created the communication concept, supported by VIP representatives, managed the invitations, provided the media coordination and the entire press materials, created targeted topic management with testimonial positioning, advised on Social Media activities, and offered on-site PR support.


  • Guests: Over 60 representatives from the media and politicians such as Hubert Hüppe (Government Disabilities Commissioner) and Manuela Schwesig (Deputy SPD Chairwoman at the time)
  • Publications: 17 TV reports, 420 print, 130 online, 42 radio (in total coverage of over 50 million), 17 news agency reports
  • Awareness: blog parade, posts and tweets sparking debate on social media channels
  • Concrete changes: Triggered a national debate and concrete improvements for the election day (e.g. displaying voting templates)

Prof. Dr. Volker Klenk


More about AKTION MENSCH: Campaign on Accessibility?


Phone+49 69 71 91 68 - 101

Related Services

Media Relations, Press Conference, Elections, Event, Roadshow, Invitation Management, Topic Management, Testimonials, Social Media


46 political decision-makers were present in the five test cities.

Case Studies

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