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2021 German elections: Chaos in Berlin polling stations - Irregularities and lack of ballot papers

There are three elections and a referendum in Berlin, as well as a marathon. That creates chaos. People waiting are frustrated because the ballot papers have run out in several places. You have to "interrupt the election", they say in a polling station.

In Berlin there are increasing reports of irregularities and delays in the polling stations. The polling officer of a polling station in the west of Berlin told Die Welt: “There is now chaos here. (...) Three elections and the Berlin Marathon together, that couldn't go well. Consequence: There are no more ballot papers here.” Replenishment has been requested, but cannot get through as many streets are closed because of the marathon.

In Berlin, the House of Representatives and the District Assembly are elected in addition to the Bundestag. In addition, the referendum on the expropriation of large real estate companies is pending. In addition to the elections, the Berlin Marathon will also take place - which led to numerous traffic jams on Sunday.

The election control asked for the support of the police because there was a threat of unrest. “But it won't come for the time being either.” said the election supervisor. "I think that's the typical Berlin overestimation that you can do everything, but fail in practice in everyday life."

Poll workers at polling stations 611 and 607 in Wilmersdorf also announced that ballot papers were missing. Documents for the Bundestag election are also affected here. You have to "interrupt the election". On site, those waiting expressed their indignation. Several older voters yelled at each other. The queues are getting longer and longer. Consideration is already being given to extending the vote beyond 6 p.m.

“You can wait, you can come back later. We've been on the phone for hours, they say the papers are on their way, but because of the marathon they can't get through,” said election officials. Minister of State for Culture Monika Grütters (CDU) also had to wait for her vote. She said: “Berlin can't do it. I passed other polling stations, there is also the problem. "

At 3 p.m., a polling officer said to those waiting: “We have sent people on bicycles to the district town hall to get ballot papers.” The polling station will be reopened as soon as the ballot papers arrive.

However, voters keep leaving the polling station, for example because they have to go to work. Some want to come back later and try again to cast their vote. Others go away angry and with sarcastic remarks.

"The queues are getting longer and longer"
Former ARD journalist Ulrich Deppendorf reported on Twitter about similar conditions in Charlottenburg. “At the Ustinov School polling station in Charlottenburg, the ballot papers ran out! Replacement does not come through because of the Berlin marathon! Incredible,” wrote Deppendorf.

Der Tagesspiegel journalist Julius Betschka also confirmed the chaos: “We are aware of four different polling stations where it has not been possible to vote for a while because the ballot papers have run out. Replenishment doesn’t come through because of the marathon. The queues there are getting longer. "

Left-wing politician Fabio De Masi was outraged on Twitter. "This is unbeliveable! Either you get shit in preparation or there is not a marathon for the federal election! I don't care who is responsible!” Wrote De Masi.

The Federal Returning Officer assumes that there is above all a lack of election documents for the election of the House of Representatives. “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. ”However, this did not affect the federal election.

The Berlin police even report that all problems have now been resolved. Spokeswoman Anja Dierschke said: "There were short-term bottlenecks at individual polling stations. These were fixed within an hour. All polling stations are working as planned."

Source: Die Welt
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