POLYAS Election Glossary

We provide explanations and background information on elections, voting rights and digital democracy

Percentage hurdle

A percentage hurdle (also electoral threshold) aims to counteract the “fragmentation” of a body or committee that results from allocating seats between large numbers of small lists. The percentage hurdle relates to the list level, also for personal proportional representation.

Germany operates a five-percent hurdle for federal- and state-parliament elections. In elections at municipal and district level, electoral thresholds are in some instances 3 percent and 2.5 percent.

See also: Proportional representation, Majority vote, Quorum

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