According to research by the RBB, an independent expert commission commissioned by the Berlin Senate on the election mishaps in the previous year recommends structural changes in the organization of elections. From the point of view of the committee, it should be checked whether the state returning authority has the right to issue instructions to the district electoral offices.
The state returning officer is currently “a queen without a country”, according to the RBB in the report of the commission, which is to be officially presented on Wednesday. You have no instruments to control elections in Berlin as a whole.
According to the RBB, the report is available in advance. The Commission identified the equipment and preparation of the polling stations as one of the main problems. In the opinion of the expert panel, the state electoral regulations must be changed in such a way that the polling stations are completely equipped with the necessary number of ballot papers before the start of the election day. Uniform standards are also needed for a higher number of voting booths in all districts.
Overall, according to RBB, the commission comes to the conclusion: “In retrospect, the problems that arose on election day were the result of avoidable mistakes in planning and preparing the Berlin elections with too little foresight.”
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Numerous breakdowns and organizational problems occurred during the parallel elections to the Bundestag and the Berlin House of Representatives on September 26, 2021. These included wrong or missing ballots, the temporary closure of polling stations and sometimes hours of waiting. In addition, some polling stations were open well after 6 p.m. Because of the massive problems, a partial or complete repetition of the elections is in the air. In the case of the election to the House of Representatives, the Berlin Constitutional Court decides on this, in the case of the Bundestag elections the Bundestag.