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Election 2021: Bundestag elections in Berlin are to be partially repeated

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Now it is certain: The series of breakdowns in the 2021 federal elections in Berlin will have consequences – the election will be partially repeated. The Bundestag resolution is probably not the last word.

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Due to numerous mishaps, the Bundestag elections in September last year are to be partially repeated in Berlin. In 431 electoral districts, citizens are asked to cast their first and second vote again.

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The Bundestag decided late Thursday evening with the votes of the traffic light groups SPD, Greens and FDP. The Union and the AfD did not go far enough. The opposition factions wanted a repetition in many more constituencies. It is unclear when there will be a re-election. It is also unclear what impact this will have on the composition of the Bundestag.

Federal Returning Officer Georg Thiel welcomed the Bundestag decision. “Now there is clarity,” it said in a statement. “Due to the frequency and severity of the electoral errors and because they may have affected the distribution of seats in the Bundestag, I believe this decision is the right one, in order to ensure the citizens’ trust in the correct election process in the long term.”

A total of 2172 objections were received against the election

According to the parliamentary decision, 327 of the 2,256 constituencies in the capital and 104 of the 1,507 postal voting districts are affected. Elections are to be held again in those constituencies where voting was interrupted in 2021 due to voting errors, where there were significant delays, or where voters were unable to cast a valid vote due to missing or incorrect ballot papers. There is also a reason for a repeat vote if polling stations were still open after 6:30 p.m.

The parties in the Bundestag assume that the decision will be challenged before the Federal Constitutional Court. When this then decides is open. A possible consequence of the partial repetition of the election could be that fewer MPs from Berlin will then be represented in the Bundestag. This would be particularly the case with low voter turnout.

A total of 2,172 objections to the election were received by the Bundestag’s Election Review Committee – more than ever before. Around 1,700 of these related to the election process in Berlin alone.

In the capital, the same day’s parliamentary elections are on the brink. The Berlin Constitutional Court will decide on this next Wednesday (November 16). During the oral hearing, it became apparent that the court could order a complete repetition. The state parliament would then have to be re-elected no later than 90 days after the announcement of the decision.

From the point of view of the Federal Returning Officer, important questions must now be clarified quickly. “Above all, we need legal certainty as to when there is an election error and when it becomes relevant to the mandate.” For example, it needs to be clarified when polling stations are to be finally closed after 6 p.m. or what waiting times in front of the polling stations are still acceptable for citizens, said Thiel.

Recommendation of the election examination committee

Source: Stern

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