Eight months have passed since the September elections in Berlin. It is only now, this Tuesday, that the Bundestag Election Review Committee is negotiating the validity of the Bundestag election due to the numerous shortcomings in Berlin. But even now, the members of the Bundestag do not have access to crucial material from the polling stations.

Marcel Luthe, the former FDP and today’s Free Voter politician, who is trying to work through the election mishaps like no other, criticized: “The members of the election examination committee have not yet examined the central information base, namely the protocols from the 2257 Berlin polling stations.” WELT asked the committee chairwoman Daniela Ludwig whether this accusation was true. The CSU MP did not deny it in her answer, but said: “The aim of the negotiation will be in particular to determine an undisputed fact about the Berlin election.”

Ludwig explained: “Should the committee come to the conclusion after the oral hearing that, on the one hand, what is happening in individual polling stations is still controversial and, on the other hand, certain documents (these can, but do not necessarily have to be the transcripts, but can also be other documents) or completely different evidence can further clarify the facts of the matter, we will request or collect them.” From Ludwig’s point of view, “it makes no sense to look at documents if it is undisputed that a voting error occurred in a specific polling station”. The committee will consult on Tuesday after the oral hearing “how to proceed”.

It should be noted that six months have passed since Federal Returning Officer Georg Thiel “lodged an objection to the validity of the elections to the 20th German Bundestag in six Berlin constituencies” due to “the frequency and severity of individual voting errors”. After the election in September, WELT reported on young people who had received ballot papers for the Bundestag and House of Representatives elections without authorization. It also came to light that minors could also illegally vote in the Bundestag elections by postal vote.

There are several reasons for Luthe to repeat the Bundestag elections in Berlin: “Basically, the election was not organized in such a way that everyone entitled to vote could have voted.” It was estimated that three minutes per voter and election process took place. But even for this short period of time there were “mathematically simply too few voting booths”. As a result, “the long lines that violated the principle of equality of elections because a physical barrier was erected in front of voters, resulting in hours of waiting.” Some people have no problem with that, others leave.

In addition, according to Luthe, “those who were eligible to vote were demonstrably not allowed to vote, while those who were not eligible to vote voted”. After all, “many people would have received postal voting documents for their long-dead father or other relatives”. The scope can only be understood if you compile a list of who has received a ballot. Then it would be clarified who voted from the electoral register. And then you compare whether votes have also been cast on behalf of long-dead people. “So that’s identifiable. But if you close your eyes really tight and don’t send anyone on this quest, you’ll never find out.”

Luthe, who gained access to the polling station logs after legal wrangling, says: “I only started skimming the digital logs on Friday and have already discovered cases in which not even the voter register was kept in the polling stations.” The members of the The Election Review Committee “absolutely” needed these transcripts from all polling stations “and sufficient human resources to look through them.”

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