Votes in 2021 Bundestag election must be recast in Berlin, court rules

Votes in 2021 Bundestag election must be recast in Berlin, court rules

Germany’s constitutional court in Karlsruhe has ruled that the 2021 Bundestag election must be re-run in 455 Berlin constituencies. February 11, 2024, has been named the provisional date for a re-vote.

Karlsruhe court rules 2021 Bundestag election must be re-done

Germany’s Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg has ruled that Berliners living in 455 constituencies in the city must re-cast their votes for Germany’s 2021 federal election. The new figure includes 31 more constituencies than what was originally deemed to be necessary.

The decision comes after deliberations about how to address the disorganisation of the 2021 elections in Berlin. Now that the ruling has been announced, the re-vote must now be completed within the next 60 days, with Berlin’s election director Stephan Bröchler already announcing February 11, 2024, as the most likely date.

However, there are some concerns about whether this would be an appropriate date, since it falls on the last Sunday of the winter holidays, meaning that voter turnout could be low in a city where many inhabitants cannot vote already because they don’t have a German passport.

While the re-vote for Berlin’s local government saw the SPD lose power for the first time in 20 years, the outcome of the Berlin Bundestag election re-vote is less likely to significantly shake up the make-up of the Bundestag. Speaking to die Zeit, public law expert Sophie Schönberger said that it is unlikely that the traffic-light coalition will lose its majority.

What happened in Berlin on election day 2021?

September 26, 2021, was a quadruple voting day in Berlin. Constituents in Berlin were voting in the federal elections, electing state parliamentarians and local councillors, and voting in a referendum on whether to nationalise 240.000 houses and apartments owned by the Deutsche Wohnen & Co property companies. 

On the triple election day, a series of blunders ensued. Polling stations ran out of ballot papers after delivery vans got stuck in transit - all while the Berlin Marathon caused major traffic diversions in the city centre. Some constituents were given the wrong ballot papers or queues were so long that they were turned away. In other cases, those who were already queueing were allowed to cast their ballots after the polls were supposed to officially close at 6pm.

Thumb image credit: Christian Schwier /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



Leave a comment