Berlin wants to spend a lot of money to avoid further mishaps in the repeat election and the announced payment of 240 euros for election workers is already having an effect. Many people have already registered for February 12, said Interior Senator Iris Spranger (SPD) in a special session of the Interior Committee. Many inquiries were received every day, not only from Berlin, but also from all over Germany.
State returning officer Stephan Bröchler said that 26,000 people had currently applied to be helpers. Up to 43,000 poll workers are to be deployed. That would be significantly more than in the breakdown election in September 2021, although this time only the House of Representatives and the district assemblies and not the Bundestag should also be elected.
expense allowance increased
One of the twelve Berlin districts has already indicated that enough election workers have already reported. The tax-free 240 euros would certainly contribute to this, said the state returning officer. Previously there had been an expense allowance of 60 euros. Officials and employees of the state should even be given up to three days off as compensation for their work as election workers.
In 2021, the Senate had promised election workers early corona vaccinations. As a result, helpers reported and got vaccinated, but "a not inconsiderable part" canceled their helper assignment shortly before the election, said Bröchler. Therefore, this time the increased payment should only be paid out after the polling stations have closed.
Will OSCE observers visit?
The state returning officer called the organization of the repeat election to the House of Representatives a "Herculean task". The period of 90 days for preparation is very short, otherwise you have a year to do it. Berlin's Constitutional Court had decided that the election to the House of Representatives had to be repeated completely due to many mishaps.
Meanwhile, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is keeping an eye on developments and could send an observer mission. However, no invitation has yet arrived from Berlin, said Meaghan Fitzgerald, head of the elections department at the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the German Press Agency.
The OSCE also sent a team of experts to the elections on September 26, 2021. State Returning Officer Stephan Bröchler told the "Tagesspiegel" (Monday) that he would invite OSCE observers "without a second's hesitation" and that he would get on with it.
Referendum for climate neutrality probably not at the same time
Politicians from the Greens and the Left called on the Senate several times on Monday to carry out the referendum for a climate-neutral Berlin on the same day and not a few weeks later. Otherwise double work and organization would be necessary. The initiators of the referendum also called for this in order to achieve higher participation and make success more likely. Spranger and Bröchler rejected this, arguing that the preparations for the referendum could not be made quickly enough to be completed in time for February 12.