Five reasons why processing is inadequate

Eine Frau wählt am 26.09.2021 in einem Berliner Wahllokal (Bild: dpa/Sebastian Gollnow)

opinion | super election day 2021

Five reasons the Berlin election breakdown process is inadequate

Image: DPA / Sebastian Golno

Almost three weeks after election day, the extent of the election accidents in Berlin is still unclear. The charges push the ball towards each other and lock themselves in. With his assessment, the governing mayor is jeopardizing an important electoral principle. by Dominic Ritter-Vernigo

1. District Election Committees work in a non-transparent manner

So far the focus has been on the districts—to be more precise, the District Returning Officers and the respective election committees. In the first phase, breakdowns are legally assessed, their mandate relevance calculated, recalculated and the outcome determined.

Superficially, this happens in public, in fact a pseudo-public is created. Anyone can come and see, but no one knows. In the district office 2021 (!) Most of the district offices also do not have this information on their website. Transparency and closeness to the citizen work differently.

To make matters worse, members of election committees are strangled. Electoral bodies are bound to maintain confidentiality regarding matters which have come to their notice, as stipulated in Section 4 of the State Election Rules.

Journalists are allowed to listen to these public meetings; Video, photo and sound recording is not allowed. There is also no information about the minutes, minutes or documents to be handed over by the district election management to the members of the committee.

There was hardly any district election committee that provided information to the public – for example through a press release.

2. Press inquiries remain unanswered

“Please understand that I cannot respond to your request at this time”, multiple RBB | In the past few days, 24 inquiries about election breakdown have been answered this way or similar – or rather, not answered.

The District Election Office, the District Election Office, the District Election Committee, the State Election Committee, the State Election Committee, and the Department of the Interior Senate know more with the public than previously shared elections.

Still lacking details, here are some examples:

The district election committees have now assessed at which polling stations the election had to be disrupted. This list was not made available to RBB. 24 upon request.

The information is available only in fragments – in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, elections were disrupted in almost every eighth polling station. Details – such as the duration of the interruption per constituency – were not given to the RBB 24 upon request. This makes it impossible to gauge how serious the problem was.

The internal senator on Sunday sought reports from the districts on the events of the election. On the basis of these reports he put the election process in one Clean Health Bill in the press conference on Friday. rbb | 24 was unable to inspect these reports upon request.

The list of all polling stations with incorrect or mixed ballot papers will be clarified in the committee by the Regional Election Management at the request of the RBB.

A transparent and quick processing looks different.

3. It’s the other’s fault

4. Non-transparent Enumeration of Mandate Relevance

When it comes to the question of whether electoral errors are so serious that a redial or by-election would be necessary, the relevance of the mandate is crucial. It means: if the election had not been mistaken, would someone else have got or could have got the mandate?

So you can pretty well figure that out with the cross on the wrong first-vote ballots: Would the second-place direct candidate be in front if all these invalid votes failed for the second? As things stand, this was nowhere to be found.

Mandate-relevant assessment of electoral barriers is more difficult and transparent. Constituencies 401 (school in Königstor) [wahlen-berlin.de] and 412 (George Worth School) [wahlen-berlin.de] For example, in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, voting had the longest interruptions, every 100 minutes. How can you calculate how many voters have been barred from voting as a result? Is a wait time of around two hours justified?

Constituency 4 had a total of 1,417 non-voters in two polling stations: Inside (the first vote in a House of Representatives election). Only 211 votes separated Green candidate Monica Hermann from first place Damiano Valgolio (left) in the constituency. Is it conceivable that many of the 1,417 non-voters wanted to vote during the election holiday but could not?

The District Election Committee did not consider these and other obstructions to be relevant to the result.

5. Preference is given to the governing mayor over the free election committee

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