All German citizens are able to vote once they have reached the age of 18.
It doesn't take long to mark two crosses on a ballot paper, but they are of immense significance. By marking these crosses, the voter is taking the central decision in a democracy: who should govern?
Angela Merkel centre right party (Christian Democrats CDU) is still very popular, her successful political style has actually earned itself a unique name – "Merkiavellism" – which is a combination between Merkel and Machiavelli.
Merkel's main challenger is Peer Steinbrück centre left (Social Democrats, SPD).