Massive suspicions: Here’s how election fraud worked in the last elections in Berlin

A criminal complaint that has just been filed is explosive. It is directed against a Berlin district electoral office. It is about a cover-up or even electoral fraud. In the 2021 federal election, a large number of people voted with false ballot papers. The authorities are said to have deliberately covered up the chaos.

The unprecedented election chaos in Berlin kept the German media busy for weeks: sometimes the ballot papers were simply missing in the elections to the German Parliament in September 2021, then they caused countless invalid votes again because the ballot papers were distributed incorrectly. Some voters even stood in front of closed polling stations. But now the mishaps in Berlin could still have a judicial repercussion.

According to the German online magazine “Tichys Einblick”, the responsible election administration tried to cover up the chaos. The magazine has the protocol for one polling station.

It is about polling station 20512 in the district of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. “For the second vote for the Berlin House of Representatives, the election office had the wrong ballot papers – namely those for Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf”, reports “Tichys Einblick”. “In Berlin, elections are held according to both state and district lists – in this respect, the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf ballot paper shows different candidates than the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg ballot paper. So whoever ticked the list of one party voted for the list with candidates of the neighbouring constituency. An already absurd procedure.”

But that was not all: the fact that the list for the neighbouring constituency was available in the district of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg was quickly noticed by the election committee in the responsible election office, as the minutes show. But instead of intervening, the election was simply continued with the wrong ballot papers. The minutes state: “Initially, the instruction came from there to continue with the election with the wrong ballot papers”.

But it gets even better. The minutes continue: “About 2 hours later we received the information that the ‘Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf’ ballot papers were to be treated as invalid. By then, 82 people had used these ballot papers”. This means: “Almost every fifth vote cast in this polling station was declared invalid!”, reports “Tichys Einblick”. This is said to be not an isolated case: “Since obviously in very many polling stations wrong ballot papers were displayed and the votes cast were declared invalid afterwards, the error multiplies.”

The online media will examine the 40,000-page log to determine in how many cases voters were cheated out of their votes. In the affected district alone, it is estimated that around tens of thousands of voters were deceived. But “Tichys Einblick” estimates that the extent of voter deception is much greater. This procedure would then have had a system. The chaos was followed by deliberate deception on a large scale.

Marcel Luthe, candidate for the House of Representatives, has already filed a criminal complaint against those responsible at the district electoral office due to the revelations. “In my opinion, 80 people were deliberately deprived of their right to vote – and this is only the tip of the iceberg,” he says.

In the complaint, he speaks of “criminal electoral fraud by causing an ‘otherwise incorrect result’ within the meaning of section 107a of the Criminal Code”. This procedure had brought about a “false result of an election”, as the will of the voters had not been implemented. This was because it was not about anonymous lists, but about specific persons in the order of the list – from a different place.

Three days after the election, the matter took another “remarkable turn”: “While the ballot papers in question were declared invalid on election night by the electoral board in consultation with the electoral office, three days later they were apparently declared valid votes again in parts. Invalid ballot papers first became valid votes, these were declared invalid and later again became valid votes on invalid ballot papers.”

The editor Roland Tichy underlines: “It is a hitherto unknown process of arbitrariness in the history of Germany, how the most sacred good of democracy is dealt with – the voter’s vote.”

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