Berlin – Election day in Berlin was extremely unusual. Obviously there were too few ballots in some polling stations and long queues formed. This went so far that not all polling stations were closed at 6 p.m. as required. In Wilmersdorf, for example, people voted well after 6 p.m. The rule was: all those who stood in front of the polling station at 6 p.m. were allowed to stay until they had the opportunity to cast their vote.
However, there is definitely the possibility of influencing the election – through the election forecasts published in all media from 6 p.m. onwards. So the question arises as to whether the people in line changed their voting decision by announcing the predictions. In purely theoretical terms, this could also have an influence on the election and thus have legal consequences.
The Berlin constitutional lawyer Christian Pestalozza told the Berliner Zeitung: “It could be that someone takes this fact as a reason for an election review complaint.” But it is questionable whether the matter could be successful. The fact that people were allowed to vote for a longer period of time would only be of legal relevance if it would also change something in the distribution of seats in the Bundestag.
Pestalozza sees several difficulties in proving this. First, people should all have heard of the forecast on their cell phones or from other people in the queues. “And even if that were the case, it would then have to be proven that these prognoses actually led to some people changing their voting intentions.”
He doesn’t think this is so likely because people rarely decide who to vote in the voting booth. In addition, so many people would have to have changed their minds because of the prognoses that so many votes would come together that there would actually be a change in the distribution of seats in the Bundestag. “At first glance, I don’t want to rule out that someone might take the matter as a reason for contesting the election, but it will be difficult to prove something very clearly,” said the constitutional lawyer.