Judge: Berlin will likely need to repeat its 2021 election

BERLIN (AP) — Berlin will likely need to repeat its 2021 state and district elections due to severe election day glitches, the president of the German capital’s constitutional court said Wednesday.

Several political parties and government entities, including Berlin’s election authority, the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and the satirical political party The Party, filed formal complaints and called for an investigation into the results of the Sept. 26, 2021 votes.

Long lines formed outside many polling stations in Berlin that day as voters struggled with extra ballot papers. Some polling stations ran out of ballot papers during the day and others received ones for the wrong district, leading to a large number of invalidated ballots.

Another issue was the election was supposed to end at 6 p.m., but voters waiting in line at that time were allowed to cast their ballots.

Ahead of oral arguments in the case Wednesday, Berlin Constitutional Court President Ludgera Selting said errors and problems at polling stations likely influenced the election results and the overall makeup of the Berlin state parliament.

Should the court decide to deem the state and district election results invalid, a new city-wide election would need to be held within 90 days.

Berlin held simultaneous federal, state and district-level elections, as well as a city-wide referendum on expropriating the property of large real estate companies, in last year’s vote.

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