The German capital will likely need to repeat last year’s state and district elections following a decision by the Berlin Constitutional Court on Wednesday.
The 2021 elections to the Berlin House of Representatives and the District Assembly were marred by a large number of electoral errors, which are now considered to have influenced the election results.
“In a first preliminary assessment, the Constitutional Court of the State of Berlin has stated that it tends not to recognize the elections to the House of Representatives and to the District Assemblies of September 2021, i.e. to declare them invalid, in which case there would be a repetition of the elections to the House of Representatives and the District Assembly all over Berlin,” said Lisa Jani, the court’s spokesperson.
On election day last year, some polling stations reportedly ran out of ballot papers, while others received forms for the wrong district entirely. Some voters were also allowed to cast their votes after the 6 pm deadline.
“With regard to the legal consequences, the Constitutional Court has stated that, as things stand at present, the interest in corrections clearly outweighs the interest in the continuance, i.e. new elections must be held because the mistakes that have been made have been too extensive and too numerous,” Jani explained.
The court will now deliberate its findings before coming to a final decision within three months of Wednesday’s hearing. In the case that the election results are deemed invalid, a new election will need to be held in Berlin within 90 days.