German Chancellor Angela Merkel is hoping for a victory for her CDU party in Lower Saxony.
She has been in the region to show her support for David McAllister, who is in a tight race to retain his position at the head of the local government.
McAllister is being challenged by Stephan Weil of the Social Democrat Party (SPD) in the first of a series of local elections in Germany.
The regional votes come ahead of a general election in September, in which Merkel will face off with challenger Peer Steinbrück.
Former German Chancellor Gerhard has been getting involved in Lower Saxony as well, campaigning for Weil.
While his wife has stepped into the election herself.
Polls show Doris Schröder-Köpf has a good chance of winning a seat on the regional government.