The traffic light coalition considers it necessary to repeat the federal elections in around 300 Berlin voting districts. This only applies to second votes.
BERLIN afp | The traffic light coalition considers it necessary to repeat the federal elections in around 300 of the almost 2,300 Berlin voting districts. This refers exclusively to the second votes, said SPD MP Johannes Fechner on Tuesday of the AFP news agency. Fechner therefore sent a corresponding proposal from the traffic light representatives in the Bundestag’s election examination committee to Chairwoman Daniela Ludwig (CSU) in the afternoon. The committee is scheduled to vote on it in October.
On September 28, the Constitutional Court, Berlin’s highest court, declared that it considered the recent elections to the House of Representatives and the twelve district parliaments to be invalid. “Only the full repetition of the elections can restore their constitutional conformity,” said court president Ludgera Selting at the beginning of a hearing due to several election challenges. However, the statements of the court were a preliminary position, the verdict is still pending.
Since the traffic light coalition has the majority in the Election Review Committee, it can be assumed that Fechner’s proposal will be approved by the committee in October. This is a draft resolution that Parliament as a whole must then vote on. Then the way would be clear for a partial repeat of the Bundestag elections in Berlin. However, an appeal against the Bundestag decision can still be filed with the Federal Constitutional Court.
After the hearing of the Berlin Constitutional Court last Wednesday, the traffic light representatives in the committee sat down again to discuss what the court hearing means for dealing with the federal elections. The Berlin court deals exclusively with the elections to the House of Representatives and the district assemblies. The Bundestag is responsible for reviewing the Bundestag elections held on the same day
“The Berlin Constitutional Court has encouraged us to hold new elections where election errors have occurred,” Fechner told AFP. “Unlike the Berlin Constitutional Court, like the Federal Returning Officer, we do not see the electoral errors in every constituency.”
Numerous breakdowns in Berlin
As Fechner explains in the letter to the committee chairperson Ludwig, which is available to AFP, a late closing of a polling station, for example, should only be considered a voting error if votes could still be cast after 6:45 p.m. “We also think that a brief interruption in the voting process of less than 15 minutes does not constitute a voting error and that a waiting time of this magnitude is reasonable for citizens,” said Fechner AFP.
During the elections in September 2021, which were held on the same day as the Berlin marathon, there were numerous mishaps in the capital – such as missing ballot papers, long queues or polling stations that had been closed in the meantime. There were numerous objections to the result, especially from Federal Returning Officer Georg Thiel.
Thiel saw the incidents in almost 340 constituencies as serious and called for the election to be repeated in six of Berlin’s twelve constituencies. In one case – in Berlin-Reinickendorf – Thiel also questioned the result of the first vote. The traffic light coalition does not agree with this assessment.
With the first vote, voters decide which direct candidate should represent their constituency in Parliament. They give the second vote to a party.