Berlin The Berlin elections are much more chaotic than the state election authorities had hoped. Several polling stations had to temporarily close on Sunday because they ran out of ballot papers. Some polling stations also received the wrong ballot papers – namely ballot papers from other districts.
The Federal Returning Officer tweeted: “The Berlin State Returning Officer has informed us that there are no second ballots for the election to the House of Representatives in polling stations in Berlin. As it turned out on election day, polling stations had received second ballots from another district. “
Due to mixed up ballot papers, there were invalid votes and delays in some polling stations. Ballot papers from the Friedrichshain / Kreuzberg and Charlottenburg / Wilmersdorf districts were affected.
In polling stations 404, 407 and 408 in the Spartacus Elementary School in Friedrichshain, according to information from the polling station, only ballot papers from Charlottenburg / Wilmersdorf were available for the House of Representatives election. Until the correct ballot papers were delivered, the polling stations had to be temporarily closed. In addition, some votes on false ballot papers had to be declared invalid.
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In the early afternoon the ballot papers ran out in several polling stations. Around 2 p.m. in Giselerstraße in Wilmersdorf / Comenius School there were only 16 pieces of paper left, and the tickets at the polling station in the Peter Ustinov School in Charlottenburg were running out. In the Hildegardstrasse in Wilmersdorf the ballot papers ran out completely. Because of the road closures due to the marathon, supplies were initially difficult to organize.
An electoral officer from a polling station in Wilmersdorf told Tagesspiegel: “We had to take an hour’s break because we ran out of ballot papers and nobody could vote.” “But they only had ten left.”
After almost an hour, a new batch of ballot papers had arrived. Since then, an electoral committee from another pub has come by “to scrounge our ballot papers,” reported the electoral committee.
Most of the people waiting would have reacted calmly. Most of them just waited, said the election worker. But there were also some who wanted to question the choice.
“I can’t explain why they’re missing now.”
The spokesman for the regional election control in Berlin, Geert Baasen, said he could not explain the bottlenecks. “We had ballot papers printed for 110 to 120 percent of eligible voters,” he told Tagesspiegel. “More has been commissioned than there are eligible voters.” “I can’t explain why they’re missing now.”
At the moment, the districts are working on solving the problems with the highest priority, said Baasen. How exactly the bottlenecks came about can probably only be said on Monday. The state election control has already received complaints from eligible voters.
Many voters also complained about long waiting times in front of the polling stations on Sunday. Even the governing mayor stood in line for around 25 minutes. Elsewhere, people waited up to 90 minutes to be seated in the voting booth.
Those who are still in line at their polling station at 6 p.m. can still vote. That is so mandatory, said the spokesman for the state election control, Geert Baasen, the Tagesspiegel. At 6 p.m., a check is made in front of the polling station to see who is the last person in line. Up to this last person, everyone can still cast their vote. “Anyone who queues after 6 p.m. no longer.”
Extrapolation sees tight result
The first extrapolation of the rbb sees the Greens with 22.9 percent just ahead of the SPD with 21.9 percent. It is followed by the CDU with 15.4 percent, the Left with 13.6 percent, the FDP with 7.6 and the AfD with 6.8 percent.
Because the ballot papers for the Bundestag election are also counted first in Berlin, more detailed figures for the House of Representatives election should only follow in the course of the evening.
This text first appeared in the Tagesspiegel.