According to an expert commission appointed by the Senate, the numerous breakdowns and organizational problems in the elections in Berlin on September 26, 2021 were foreseeable and therefore avoidable.
“The mishaps on election day were not a natural phenomenon that befell everyone,” said political scientist Stephan Bröchler on Wednesday at the presentation of the commission’s report on the election chaos in the previous year.
The 62-page report shows that there were numerous deficits in the interaction between the Senate, the state returning authority and the district level in the preparation and implementation of the election day.
Among other things, this was due to unclear responsibilities. A city-wide perspective was missing. In addition, the complexity of the election Sunday with four ballots was massively underestimated. “Elections and votes must be better organized in Berlin in the future,” said Bröchler.
“Berlin can hold elections” if the right lessons are learned, said Bröchler. In the future, elections must be organized in a “voter-friendly” manner: “Citizens must be able to vote with as little effort as possible and in a legally secure manner.” Bröchler demanded that trust “in the most important democratic act of participation in our community” be strengthened again.
There were no signs of electoral manipulation, emphasized Christian Waldhoff, Professor of Constitutional Law at Humboldt University. Essentially, it is about “organizational deficits” and “structural deficiencies”.
Interior Senator Iris Spranger thanked the members of the expert commission on Twitter. “We are doing everything we can to thoroughly learn the lessons from the processing of the problems that have arisen,” Spranger continues. The system must be made resilient.
The proposals will be evaluated and concrete measures will be taken quickly to implement the recommendations. “It is clear that standards agreed between the Senate and the districts are needed. I think setting up a central state elections office is a good idea.” Spranger said a decision will soon be made on who will be appointed to the state elections office.
On September 26, voters in Berlin were able to elect the House of Representatives, the Bundestag and the district assemblies, as well as vote in a referendum on the expropriation of large housing groups.
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This was made more difficult by, among other things, incorrect or missing ballot papers, the temporary closure of polling stations and sometimes hours of waiting. In addition, some polling stations were open well after 6 p.m.