Debate about election dates for the state parliament and the bundestag

Debate about election dates for the state parliament and the Bundestag

Even a mayor of the city of oberburg is allowed to make a public fuss. In a meeting of the finance committee, kay blankenburg (SPD) unexpectedly criticized munich and berlin for failing to schedule the federal and state elections in september on the same sunday: "this is a completely unnecessary way of imposing double costs on the municipalities." The dates have not yet been confirmed, but the bavarian elections on 15 and 15 june are scheduled to take place on the same day. September the new state parliament and district parliament, on 22. September, the bundestag.

It hasn't gotten that much easier or cheaper, and certainly not this year, says ludwig buchner, who organizes the elections at city hall with his colleagues susanne kab and tanja weimann. From a logistical point of view, he is even glad that this year's elections fall on two dates. State parliament and district parliament elections already mean a large amount of work, which can only just be managed within the available time window. If the federal elections were added to the equation, considerably more election workers would be needed to pay out the money – even if it is only the usual refreshment money of 21 euros per nose. So not much would be saved.

The main problem, however, is a completely different one: the number of ballot boxes is limited. Buchner needs two ballot boxes for each of the two direct candidate and party elections. In addition, as the state government announced in a press release, there will be five referendums to change the bavarian constitution at the same time as the state election. In addition, there may be the referendum "no to tuition fees in bavaria". This means that ten urns are needed for each polling station. With 24 polling stations and eight postal voting stations, the total number of ballot boxes required is 320. Buchner can't borrow any from neighboring communities. They need theirs urgently.

No major savings effect
Financially, merging the state and federal elections would not be all that interesting either, because such large sums are not moved at all. Of course, you need twice as many poll workers for two elections as for one. But if you combine the two, you don't save that much: "we need a lot more people to do the counting if we don't want to overrun the available time window", says susanne kab. By the way, an election worker costs 21 euro per election day. This is not an hourly wage and not an allowance, but a refreshment allowance. However, it is only paid out in cash when everything has been done. Around 50.000 euros costs the city an election, of which it saves 24 euros.000 euros from the state as a subsidy.

In addition to the election workers, there are the high postage costs for ballot papers and letters. But it's the smaller items that ensure that each election has about three quarters of a year's lead time. "The first thing we always check is whether the polling stations are available to us", says buchner. "We make sure they are in buildings where the city has scheduling authority, for example, firehouses." But at the salon in the schmuckhof or at the sanitary column or in the reiterswiesen gymnasium the city is only a guest. There must be no clashes of dates. And around 250 euros of rent go on it every election day.

Tanja weimann has to deal with the next problem: she has to recruit 370 election workers for each of the two elections – chairmen, clerks and observers working in two shifts. "To be on the safe side, we have declared a vacation ban in the town hall for september", betrayal buchner. In addition to the city employees, it is primarily those from the public institutions and representatives of the parties who are involved. Nevertheless, says tanja weimann, "we received 146 refusals in the last election, and we have to find replacements for them." Superfluous to say that the last cancellations came on election day.

The vacations are inconvenient
And finally, the training of the election workers has to be organized. The problem this year: the state election day is the first sunday after the summer holidays. So the people have to be trained as early as july. Buchner: "hopefully you have remembered everything well then."

The election team only has one problem next year: for all elections above the municipal elections, the city receives the ballots from the district office. For the election of mayor and city council, the town hall prepares the print templates for the ballots, which are then, after they have been proofread three times, printed in a print shop in a print run of 18 copies.000 copies are multiplied. The city must also pay for this itself. You can't use the cheapest paper: the notes must be opaque so that the crosses don't show through.