Berlin (dpa) – Missing ballots, six crosses and a marathon through the city: in Berlin there were sometimes serious delays in the elections at the polling stations.
While the first predictions of the election results were already circulating, Berliners voted in some polling stations until just before 8 p.m. Sometimes there were wait times of more than two hours.
In Reinickendorf around 7 p.m., up to 20 people were standing on the sidewalk in front of a polling station. The last vote took place at some point in Wilmersdorf at 7:30 p.m. Anyone who had stood in line until the official closing at 6 p.m. was still allowed to vote.
In a polling station in Pankow, the vote was held until around 6:45 p.m. Around 6 p.m., around 100 people were standing in front of the door, as the restaurant manager said. “It’s exactly the same in other polling stations, I hear from colleagues,” she said. It was only now that the restaurant got federal election ballots again, they were out in the afternoon. Waiting time is approximately one hour.
A spokesperson for the state’s electoral management said around 6 p.m. that the reasons for missing ballots and long lines after the election had to be addressed. He did not know that ballots were missing for the Bundestag elections – but for the House of Representatives elections and district council meetings.
At the moment, it is only clear that there have been isolated problems. “How many percent of the polling stations this has affected, we cannot ignore it yet.” The speaker cannot say when the last votes were cast. “We will be talking to the districts in the coming days and interviewing the district election commissions,” he said. Now the goal is to get the election through the stage successfully.
The federal returning officer wrote to the Twitter short message service that there was no indication of missing ballots for the federal elections in Berlin. “The state electoral leadership ensured that votes for federal elections could be cast independently of other votes,” he said. Election lines should ensure that no one is in line after 6 p.m. – for example with barrier tape.
The head of the Pankow polling station said some of the people waiting were very impatient. People are angry because they cannot understand how there can be too few ballots. “But we talk to people. No one is abusive, ”she said. In his opinion, the election was not well prepared and more ballots were needed from the start.
The Berlin Marathon also made it difficult to replenish the ballots. Sometimes the streets could not be crossed because the racing lane led there.
Another reason for the delay, according to the poll official, was that people were in the voting booths longer than usual because they were looking at the various ballots. Voters were able to place a total of six crosses in Berlin, including for or against a referendum.