Uh-oh! Remember last year when Angela Merkel’s party was voted out of power in Germany’s 2021 election? It was another COVID election with mass mail-in ballots, so it was obviously the safest and most secure election in Germany’s history. But… there was apparently a little problem with the election in Berlin, according to the nation’s top elections official. He says there were so many “irregularities” in Germany’s presidential election that they should hold a do-over election in Berlin.
Huh?! I though do-over elections were too insurrectiony and could never happen in a democracy because our elections are always so fair and perfect.
The election in Berlin last year was so bad, apparently, that the German parliament formed an elections examination committee. You know, for an official government audit like you would see in an adult country that is serious about having secure elections.
Elections Administrator George Thiel announced this week that there were so many problems in Berlin’s election last September that the city needs a do-over election in six of its 12 municipalities (sort of like precincts here in American cities).
Thiel described the election as “a complete systemic failure.”
The 21 municipalities in Berlin have 2,257 polling stations where people can go to vote. 207 of those polling stations – almost ten percent of them – experienced massive amounts of irregularities. What sort of irregularities?
Many stations ran out of ballots. Someone decided it would be a good idea to hold the Berlin Marathon at the exact same time as the election, so traffic was snarled, and they couldn’t deliver ballots quickly to those stations that ran out. A lot of voters went home in frustration after waiting for several hours and being unable to vote. They didn’t get to cast ballots.
The polls were supposed to close at 6:30 p.m. that evening. More than 250 polling stations stayed open past that time. Due to some sort of screwup, the wrong ballots were delivered to many polling stations for voters to use. Whoops.
And finally, an unknown number of underage people were allowed to waltz into the polling stations and cast ballots. Believe it or not, Germany allows 16-year-olds to vote in its municipal elections (because it’s a crazy country or something). But kids under 16 managed to vote in droves last September.
That seems pretty mild. In fact, it’s a tiny number of irregularities in a national election, when you consider what we’ve seen here in the US in Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nevada and especially Pennsylvania. And yet Germany is still willing to listen to the will of the people and suggest a do-over election.
Even the elections commissioner calling for the do-over admits that there probably were not enough votes in those six municipalities in Berlin to overturn the final result of the election. But that’s not the point.
The Germans, for all their faults, want their people to have faith in the results of their elections. People who weren’t allowed to vote because of the government’s screwup should get to cast a ballot. People who were given the wrong ballots should be given the opportunity to vote using the correct ballots. And the polling stations need to do a better job of preventing German kids under the age of 16 from voting illegally.
If the people don’t trust the results of their elections, your country is in big trouble. Everyone in Germany knows that a do-over vote is unlikely to put Angela Merkel and her party back in power. But they’re doing it anyway.
You have to ask yourself why so many people in charge in the United States are unwilling to afford us the same respect. Why hasn’t Assembly Speaker Robin Vos in Wisconsin ever suggested a do-over vote in his state? It’s been proven conclusively by two different investigations that rampant voter fraud took place there. Why hasn’t the Arizona legislature called for a do-over? Why hasn’t Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger?
Germany’s opinion seems to be that since their elections are fair, holding a do-over is going to produce basically the same result. If our elections were truly fair, wouldn’t we just get the same results in Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania if those states all held do-overs? I wonder what they’re so afraid of.