State Constitutional Court: Berlin election must be repeated completely

State Constitutional Court

Berlin election must be repeated completely


Audio: rbb24 Inforadio | 16.11.2022 | Jan Menzel | Picture: dpa

For the first time in history, a Berlin election has to be repeated. The state constitutional court decided on Wednesday. The reason for this is the numerous mishaps in the 2021 election.

The election to the Berlin House of Representatives on September 26, 2021 must be repeated in its entirety. This was decided by the Constitutional Court of the State of Berlin on Wednesday. Accordingly, they will City-wide elections declared invalid, said Court President Ludgera Selting. The elections for the twelve district assemblies are also affected because they took place on the same day, according to Court President Selting. The referendum is not affected “Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen & Co”.

To the country now has 90 daysto redial the choice. In conversation is the February 12, 2023 as an appointment. The 90-day period for scheduling the re-election begins today, Wednesday.

The decision was expected after Court President Selting had already declared at a hearing in September that, given the numerous election glitches, a “complete invalidity” of the election could be considered. According to the Constitutional Court, the verdict must not reviewed by the Federal Constitutional Court as previously suggested by the Senate Interior Administration. As a reason, Selting said that the state constitutional court had not deviated from the previous case law of the Karlsruhe judges with its vote.

At the September 26, 2021 several elections and votes took place – and that was it had serious electoral glitches. The Bundestag, the House of Representatives and the twelve district parliaments were newly elected. There was also a referendum on the expropriation of large housing groups. However, the Berlin marathon also ran alongside. There were massive problems: wrong or missing ballots, too few ballot boxes, the temporary closure of polling stations and long queues in front. Some voters voted after 6 p.m. or on hastily copied ballot papers because there were no supplies.

the Wednesday’s decision is largely based on the election transcripts of the polling stations and around 100 statements from those involved, as Selting said. The electoral errors arising from the documents alone are sufficient to declare the election invalid. In addition, it is no longer possible to determine how many people were unable to cast their votes due to the numerous breakdowns. According to the court, it was also problematic that people were sometimes still able to vote after 6 p.m. when the first forecasts were already announced.

The court is aware that this judgment represents the most extensive interference with the existence of the 2021 elections, said the court president. But the Voting errors are too numerous and too serious been. Only if the election is repeated in its entirety can the composition of the House of Representatives and the district assemblies be guaranteed that satisfies the legal requirements for democratic elections.

the election to be repeated only partially, rejected by the Constitutional Court. That gives a relatively small group of voters too much influence on the overall result. According to Selting, the relevance of the mandate does not have to be mathematically proven. The sheer number of errors is enough to state that the allocation of seats was affected.

In the justification for its decision, the court also provided numbers as evidence. For example, at least 20,000 people could not have cast their votes for the second vote alone. The AfD would have gained another seat in the House of Representatives with 2,000 votes more, the Greens were missing 10,000 votes for another seat. The FDP would have helped a three-digit number of votes in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf alone.

The court blamed the administrations responsible for conducting the elections. In some polling stations the conditions unreasonable been, according to Selting. Democratic principles such as the right to free and equal elections were endangered from the start. It’s not just about the more than 5,000 ballot papers that weren’t distributed or the 4,000 or so wrong ballot papers on election day itself – the poor preparation for the elections was a serious mistake, Selting said. be like that not enough voting booths planned been, also would have the competent authorities insufficient time for voting. Accordingly, three minutes of voting time were estimated per person – completely unrealistic with six votes and five ballot papers, according to Selting. The organizers of the election would have provided the proof on election day itself: because long lines formed in some places, more booths were brought in in a hurry. The president of the court did not accept the explanation that the pandemic conditions had meant fewer voters in attendance and more postal voters.

It is no longer possible to determine exactly how many people did not vote because the polling stations were closed in the meantime or because there were no ballot papers. It is also unclear how many people voted after 6 p.m. under the influence of the first projections. About half of the polling stations were still open after 6 p.m. – too many to speak of isolated errors.

In order to avoid breakdowns like in the last election, the election to the House of Representatives and the BVV more poll workers: at least 38,000 instead of 34,000 in the previous year. They should be better trained and receive significantly higher compensation. There should also be more ballot boxes in polling stations than last time.

Also one Repeat of the election to the Bundestag is necessary – at least for some of the Berliners: Based on a recommendation by its election examination committee, the Bundestag decided last week with the votes of the traffic light parliamentary groups SPD, Greens and FDP that it must be repeated in 431 Berlin electoral districts. However, the parties in the Bundestag assume that the decision will be challenged before the Federal Constitutional Court.

To check: rbb|24 live on the court decision on Wednesday:

Broadcast: rbb24 Inforadio, November 16, 2022, 12 p.m

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