LLong queues in front of polling stations, few voting booths, missing and swapped ballots – in Berlin there was chaos in some places on Sunday. Many voters had to wait at least an hour before they could make their crosses. Some were sent away with the request to come back later. Others were even offered to refrain from casting the vote for which the slip was missing. The debacle has meanwhile led to the state election officer Petra Michaelis resigning from her position. At first she tried to belittle the matter. But the reports piled up and outrage grew.
Three elections took place at once in Berlin: the election to the Bundestag, the election to the House of Representatives and the election to the district councils; a referendum was also pending. The voters had to fill out five ballot papers. It takes a while. Even so, there were only two voting booths in many pubs, even where there would have been room for more. Election officials report that they spontaneously brought in more booths; others built temporary ones. Several polling stations also ran out of ballots, some around noon. Here, too, replacements had to be procured, which did not succeed everywhere in time. And then there was the marathon. All of this meant that queues formed in front of many polling stations at 6 p.m. Those waiting could still vote – but not without being influenced by forecasts and projections that were already public at the time.