Video: “We are entering new territory here” – Berlin before repeat elections

STORY: Since the beginning of January, eligible voters have been able to vote by letter on the composition of the next Berlin House of Representatives. The regional returning officer there had to organize the repeat vote with an extremely short preparation time. Election date: February 12. And there were a few things that needed special attention. Stephan Bröchler, state returning officer: “There was no total failure in the 2021 election, but there were many organizational failures where we said we could start with the repeat election. That was the question of whether there was enough paper available is that we have enough ballot papers, that the ballot papers are sorted correctly, that we have a sufficient number of polling booths available, that we have well-trained poll workers. So these are all very important starting points, where we started with this election, to change something here in the repeat elections. The reform, the major one that I would like for, will hopefully only be implemented in the next regular elections, because we are actually in an exceptional situation. There are repeat elections like this in Germany not yet existed, and we are breaking new ground here.” The last regular ballot was in September 2021. In mid-November, however, the Berlin Constitutional Court decided that the election had to be repeated in its entirety. Because the vote, which took place parallel to the federal election, was marked by numerous mishaps. Long lines sometimes formed in front of the polling stations. Many people were only able to cast their votes after the polling stations officially closed at 6 p.m. So now around 2.8 million Berliners are once again called upon to take part in the repeat elections to the House of Representatives and the district assemblies. And the ballot promises to be exciting. Because the SPD emerged from the 2021 election as the strongest force. She currently governs together with the Greens and the Left. But according to the latest polls, the SPD, Greens and CDU are close together. Other constellations would then also be possible.


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