400 polling stations would be affected: the committee proposes a repeat election in Berlin

400 polling stations would be affected
Committee proposes re-election in Berlin

Incorrect or missing ballot papers, polling stations closed at times, hours of waiting: In many Berlin polling stations things were chaotic during the federal elections on September 26th. According to the will of the traffic light parties, the vote should therefore be partially repeated.

After the series of breakdowns in the Bundestag elections in Berlin, the traffic light representatives in the Bundestag’s Election Review Committee are, according to media reports, pleading for a partial repetition of the election. This should happen in about 400 of the approximately 2,300 polling stations, reported the “Spiegel” and the “Tagesspiegel”. All twelve Berlin Bundestag constituencies would be affected. The Bundestag administration should develop a corresponding recommendation for a resolution, which the Bundestag should only vote on in October.

The right to vote is the central opportunity for citizens to participate, said the SPD chairman in the election examination committee, Johannes Fechner, the “Spiegel”. “Therefore, electoral errors of this magnitude must be corrected by new elections so that all citizens have an equal opportunity to exercise their right to vote and so that their votes get the weight they deserve.” As the “Tagesspiegel” reports, polling stations in six constituencies would be primarily affected: Reinickendorf, Mitte, Pankow, Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf and Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg.

On September 26, the people of Berlin were able to elect the House of Representatives, the Bundestag and the district councils and vote in a referendum on the expropriation of large housing groups. The vote in the capital was marked by numerous breakdowns and organizational problems. These included incorrect or missing ballot papers, the temporary closure of polling stations and long queues in front of them, sometimes with waiting times lasting hours. In addition, some polling stations were still open well after 6 p.m.

Union does not go far enough with the traffic light proposal

The advance of the traffic light parties in the election examination committee is surprising. Federal Returning Officer Georg Thiel, who criticizes a “complete systematic failure of the electoral organization” in Berlin, has demanded a complete re-election in six of the twelve constituencies – that would be around 1,200 polling stations. After his hearing in May, the committee chair Daniela Ludwig said that a recommendation would only be made after the summer break.

The Union is also calling for a complete new election in six constituencies. In addition, she wants to vote again in 50 selected polling stations in the other six constituencies. The traffic light proposal “is definitely not enough and doesn’t even begin to do justice to the chaos in the elections in Berlin,” said the committee rapporteur for the CDU/CSU, Patrick Schnieder, of the German Press Agency in Berlin. “We think it’s essential that more than 1,200 polling stations hold new elections, while the traffic light wants to be limited to 400.”

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