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Berlin prepares repeat election to the Bundestag


Ballot paper envelopes for a postal vote are poured out of a ballot box.

In view of the pending proceedings at the Federal Constitutional Court, Berlin is preparing for a complete re-run of the Bundestag elections in all polling stations, not just some of them.

This is what state election officer Stephan Bröchler said on Monday in a video published on Youtube. "My office and I, together with the districts, are preparing the maximum scenario: a complete repeat election to the German Bundestag," Bröchler explained. "The preparations are part of the planning for the European Parliament election on 9 June 2024, which we have already started."

Preparation for "maximum scenario"

The previous week, Bröchler had attended a hearing of the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe. The CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag had filed a lawsuit because it considered the parliament's decision to repeat the election of 26 September 2021 only in a smaller part of Berlin's electoral districts not far-reaching enough. In November 2022, the Bundestag had decided, with the votes of the traffic light coalition, that elections would have to be repeated in 327 of the 2256 electoral districts and in 104 of the 1507 postal voting districts due to electoral mishaps.

Time of the pronouncement of the verdict still unclear

"After the hearing, we have no clues as to the exact date of the pronouncement of the verdict, nor whether a full or partial re-run election will have to be held," Bröchler said in his Youtube video on the matter. The only thing that is certain, he said, is that after a verdict is handed down, the election must take place within 60 days. "We will have 30 days less than in the repeat election in February," Bröchler said, referring to the full repeat election for the House of Representatives just over five months ago. "This means a renewed effort on the part of the state election administration and the districts."

Several improvements already implemented

Bröchler hopes that the ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court will set important standards for the conduct of future federal elections. Berlin is on the right track with the reforms of the electoral organisation. Several improvements have been implemented, but the electoral organisation is still in "repair mode": "The realisation of the structural reforms through the establishment of a Land electoral office, the creation of permanent district electoral offices and the strengthening of the rights of the Land electoral officer must be consistently pursued," said Bröchler.

Author: dpa/
Publication date: 24 July 2023
Last updated: 24 July 2023

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