New Election Held in Germany After Previous 'Chaotic' One Declared Void; Parallels to Maricopa County Seen by Lake Campaign
A new election was held in Berlin on Sunday after one conducted in 2021 was declared void due to Election Day irregularities.
Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s campaign believes the same should happen in Maricopa County.
Sunday’s election in Germany resulted in the center-right Christian Democrats coming out on top of the left-of-center Green Party and Social Democrats.
The Associated Press reported Berlin’s highest court ordered a new election in November after “a chaotic 2021 state election that was marred by severe glitches at many polling stations and hours-long lines as some polling places ran out of ballot papers or received ones for the wrong district.”
“Projections showed the center-right Christian Democrats ahead with 27.8 percent of the vote, followed by the Greens with 18.8 percent, and the Social Democrats with 18.7 percent, according to public broadcaster ARD. The final results, along with coalition negotiations, will determine who serves as the mayor and state senators of Germany’s capital,” according to the AP.
State Election Day today in Berlin. Sept 21 election results were declared invalid by court due to numerous irregularities – unprecedented fiasco caused int headlines & was seen by many as symbol of city’s dysfunctional admin. We love our Berlin – but can’t we do with less chaos? pic.twitter.com/WKZtyudIIv
— Walter J. Lindner (@WalterJLindner) February 12, 2023
Mayor Franziska Giffey with the Social Democrats conceded the race after the polls closed saying, “Berliners are not happy with the way things are now.”
Reuters reported that the Christian Democrats did 10 percentage points better on Sunday than they did in the 2021 election, which was plagued by problems.
In November, constitutional court presiding Judge Ludgera Selting ordered a new election due to “frequency and gravity” of the mistakes and the “serious systemic flaws” in the preparation for the one held in September 2021, according to Deutsche Welle.
Hundreds of polling stations were impacted with ballot issues, including running out of them and the wrong candidates being listed on them in many locations.
“On November 10, the Bundestag [Germany’s Parliament] decided to have the federal election repeated in 431 of 2,256 Berlin electoral constituencies,” according to DW.
Lake’s campaign tweeted after Sunday’s election, “You’re up next, @maricopacounty.”
You’re up next, @maricopacounty.
“Berlin’s highest court has ordered new elections in the German capital, declaring that chaos in the 2021 vote violated election law. The Berlin mayor faces a neck-and-neck race to keep her office.” https://t.co/4ntA36krRg
— Kari Lake War Room (@KariLakeWarRoom) February 13, 2023
Lake’s election challenge of Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs’ narrow win in November is currently before the Arizona Court of Appeals.
In her lawsuit, Lake pointed to the Election Day chaos in Maricopa County involving misconfigured ballot printers in the majority of voting centers, a lack of chain-of-custody documentation for over 300,000 ballots, and whistleblower allegations that the county failed to verify the identity of tens of thousands of mail-in voters as examples of election laws being violated as reasons the election in the county must be redone.
As was the case in Berlin, hours-long lines formed at polling locations throughout the county on Election Day, due in part, to the ballot printer issue that prevented tabulators from accepting the ballots.
I was outside a polling location in SE Chandler for 3 hours Tues morning as a campaign supporter; we were told that polling locations in N Gilbert were down, so those voters were being sent to ours…wonder how many never voted at all, on leaving Gilbert?https://t.co/bNmK9rkTPa
— Jennifer Cory Alvey (@JenCoryAlvey) November 14, 2022
Lake noted at a rally with supporters last month that 75 percent of voters on Election Day voted for her, meaning she was the candidate most impacted by the irregularities.
The county reported nearly one-third of the polling sites, 70 of the 223, had the ballot printer issue.
Republican National Committee lawyer Mark Sonnenklar testified at Lake’s election challenge trial in December that his team of roving lawyers on Election Day found these problems at 132 locations, or 59 percent in all.
Lake’s campaign also tweeted an image of a map of the county showing most of the impacted polling sites were in Republican areas.
Maricopa County Tabulation & Election Center had a “heat map” in their central count showing “Republican Voter Dot Density.
Our team compared it with the locations where tabulator failures occurred on Election Day
This was a targeted attack on Republican voters pic.twitter.com/mB0JE8a7e4
— Kari Lake War Room (@KariLakeWarRoom) January 30, 2023
In December, a trial court judge ruled in Hobbs’ favor finding that Lake’s legal team did not provide “clear and convincing” evidence of intentional misconduct by Maricopa County officials to impact the result of the race.
Lake argues in her appeal that the judge used the wrong standard, saying, based on court precedent, the misconduct that invalidates an election can be much broader than intentional action taken in favor of a particular candidate.
In Berlin, the judge did not find election officials’ conduct intentional, but nonetheless ordered a new election, due to the irregularities seen on Election Day.
The Lake campaign believes the same reasoning should be applied to what happened in Maricopa County.