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Committee recommends repeat elections in 440 Berlin polling stations

No decision has been made yet, but a repeat of the Bundestag elections in numerous Berlin districts is becoming increasingly likely.

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Committee recommends repeat elections in 440 Berlin polling stations

No decision has been made yet, but a repeat of the Bundestag elections in numerous Berlin districts is becoming increasingly likely. There were a number of glitches in last fall's elections. A first draft for a draft resolution of the Election Review Committee of the Bundestag envisages a new election in around 440 polling stations across Berlin. That was announced on Wednesday from the committee. However, that is not enough for the Berlin CDU.

The newsletter The Pioneer first reported on the unpublished draft. However, according to observers, it will still be a few weeks before a decision is made on the final proposal for a repeat election in the capital. Significant effects on the outcome of the election are not expected.

The elections for the Bundestag and, at the same time, for the Berlin House of Representatives on September 26 last year were marked by numerous mishaps and organizational problems in the capital. These included incorrect or missing ballots, 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 open well after 6:00 p.m.

In its report presented at the beginning of July, a commission of experts set up by the Senate came to the conclusion that the breakdowns and organizational problems in the elections were foreseeable and avoidable. The report shows that there were many deficits in the interaction between the Senate, the state returning authority and the district level in the preparation and implementation of the election day, not least because of unclear responsibilities.

At a hearing in the election examination committee in May, Federal Returning Officer Georg Thiel had already criticized a “complete systematic failure of the electoral organization” in Berlin and demanded a complete re-election in six of the twelve constituencies – that would be around 1,200 polling stations. The Berlin CDU is also campaigning for this.

Its Secretary General Stefan Evers criticized the current development on Wednesday as a "political decision to please the SPD". In view of the blatant organizational failure of the Senate, such a "splinter election" hardly makes anything better, but much worse. “This is not how you restore trust in democracy. The Federal Returning Officer quite rightly called for the Bundestag election to be repeated in large parts of Berlin.”

After a vote by the Election Review Committee, the Bundestag still has to vote on it. In addition to a partial repetition of the Bundestag election, partial or complete by-elections to the House of Representatives are also possible. However, the Berlin State Constitutional Court decides on this. The first oral hearing has been announced for the end of September. It is likely that no decision will be made at the first meeting.

It is still unclear whether there will be one or two election dates if by-elections should become necessary in both cases. Berlin's acting election officer Ulrike Rockmann had said that she considered both variants to be feasible.

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