Berlin (dpa) – When the last ones in Berlin voted, it was already dark outside, and the first forecasts of the results of the elections to the Bundestag and the House of Representatives flashed on the screens of mobile phones.
Missing and exchanged ballots and problems with subsequent deliveries meant that many voters voted well after 6 p.m. In Wilmersdorf, for example, polling station 709 closed at around 7:30 p.m. Elsewhere, it may have been even later, as users wrote on Twitter. Waiting time: Sometimes more than two hours.
Can this influence the voting decision?
Vote when the preliminary result is already known? According to Dresden political scientist Hans Vorländer, this can certainly influence the voting decision of individuals. “But it cannot be avoided. It is regulated in such a way that anyone who arrives at a polling station before 6 pm is allowed to vote, ”said the researcher from the Technical University of Dresden. However, the electoral management must ensure that no one takes the seat at 6:05 p.m.
When exactly the last vote was cast, state electoral control could not tell that evening. The cause of the delays was also unclear, according to a spokesperson. In the coming days, the issues with the process should be sorted out.
The ballots were missing, hours of waiting
It was first learned that ballots were missing in some places – in three different elections with a total of six crosses, as a referendum was also being voted on – and subsequent deliveries continued. In some polling stations, the ballots for the internal elections of the districts of Friedrichshain / Kreuzberg and Charlottenburg / Wilmersdorf were exchanged. The affected polling stations had to temporarily close until the correct ballots were available.
The manager of a polling station in Pankow said around 6 p.m. new ballots for the federal election had only arrived again. 100 people were waiting at the door, the waiting time a good hour.
Many people who wait are angry because they can’t figure out how there can be too few ballots, the polling station manager said. “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.
Failures may have consequences
Political scientist Vorländer also said the state election commission should accept questions. Indeed, the judge senator Dirk Behrendt (Greens) has already called in the evening to investigate more closely the misadventures that occurred during the election. He had “questions to those in charge of the neighborhoods and the administration of the interior”. “I cannot yet assess the extent of this,” Behrendt said Sunday evening on the sidelines of his party’s electoral training. Federal returning officer Georg Thiel is also alarmed, according to a Business Insider report.
It always happens that there are still elections at 6:30 p.m., Senator Justice said. “It is certainly more serious if there were bad ballots, if it was not possible to vote at all.” You will have to look at this in detail in the next few days, because then the question will also arise whether this had any effect on the result.
Did the marathon matter?
The simultaneous marathon with road closures would also have stopped the replenishment of fresh ballots, was another allegation. The organizers of the race, known for its world records, immediately rejected it. “As the organizer of the BMW Berlin Marathon, we have kept all our commitments to the institutions,” said Jürgen Lock, managing director of the organizer of the SSC Events marathon, according to the announcement. The processes were coordinated – like in 2017, when the federal election and the marathon fell on the same day.