Posted 27 сентября 2021, 06:47
Published 27 сентября 2021, 06:47
Modified 24 декабря 2022, 22:36
Updated 24 декабря 2022, 22:36
The morning in Berlin was sunny and warm today. As sociologists say, such weather is not conducive to voting. Nevertheless, at half past nine in the morning, half an hour after the opening of polling stations in the center of Berlin on Breit Strasse, or Shirokaya Street, people are already standing in front of the entrance to the Central Library of Berlin.
This year, the largest percentage of remote voting is expected - about 45% of voters have already sent their votes by mail. I thought there would be no one on the precinct early Sunday morning. But my husband and I had to stand at the entrance, although not for long.
A month before the vote, we received an election notification by mail. He and his identity card had to be taken with you to the site.
We approach the site, at the entrance is a cheerful pensioner in a Sunday suit, in which she, apparently, goes to church. You are the last one, I ask. No, we have already voted, she says proudly. Her husband comes out the door, also strongly in years.
After five minutes of waiting at the entrance, a stern but friendly man with a "beer" belly and a red jacket, not much like a librarian, asked for our notification. It was only later that I realized that we were voting at the “assembly” point. The streets are divided into polling stations, and several of them are located in the spacious foyer of the library. On the notice, all this is indicated - the address, and the number of our precinct, and the number of the electoral district for the elections to the Bundestag and the Berlin parliament. Our, 204th section is located directly opposite the entrance. Two people were sitting on the right and left. Due to the pandemic, the tables are at a decent distance from each other. Everything is thought out every step so that citizens do not crowd and do not waste time. First, the site employee checked the alert. At this time, her neighbor on the right began to fold the ballots. There were as many as 6 of them. A pen for filling was also offered, but the writers, like us, had everything with them.
In the center were two voting booths, without curtains, but completely closed in front so that no one could peep. Despite the pile of papers, the ballots were surprisingly easy to deal with. The papers are long, because there are a lot of parties nominated, but someone folded them up in advance to ensure the secrecy of the choice. He unfolded the "sheet", put the cross, folded it again - and you're done.
Taking pictures or filming videos is prohibited at the polling station. If someone wants to take a selfie, it may end sadly, they may even cancel the voice of the guilty one. There is no joke with this, the secret of the outpouring of will is sacred.
25 parties, the Organization for the Salvation of the World by Therapy and the unemployed Ayman Zeblanc run for the elections to the Bundestag. Along with well-known parties such as the Christian Democratic Union, the Social Democratic Party or the Greens, there are parties that, not only me, but also the majority of German voters had not even heard of before the elections. For example, there is No. 22 on the ballot paper, the Humanist Party, or No. 17, the Marxist-Leninist Party. There is a party for all good versus all bad at number 7 - the Party for Labor, the rule of law, animal welfare, elite support and local initiative. At number 9, the party that thundered in the last elections suddenly appeared - the Party of Pirates, which advocated the acceleration of digitalization, but then sank into oblivion. And then suddenly I read the bulletin - and alive, smoking rooms! Apparently, things with them are the same as with digitalization in Germany. The 4th economy in the world is in 57th place in terms of penetration of digital technologies into life. Instead of the Pirates, liberal Free Democrats are fighting for the country's entry into the "new happy world".
Berlin and the local parliament are also electing today, and with it a new burgomaster. The old one, from the SPD, decided not to exhibit anymore, and others, young ones, are coming to replace him. What is nice, there are many women among the candidates. From the SPD, from the Greens, a new generation of politicians is coming to the Berlin Senate. And not only to the Senate. It has already become known that, for example, in the Social Democratic faction, whose candidate Olaf Scholz was in the lead in pre-election polls, more than a third of the deputies will be replaced, and most of the new ones are young politicians. Most of them are members of the leftist Union of Young Socialists. It is clear that the parliament will "move to the left", and the conservatives from the CDU / CSU are afraid of this.
In Berlin, we also voted on a referendum on the nationalization of development concerns. They own many houses in the capital, and the rent is off the charts. At first, the Senate passed a limit lease law, but the Constitutional Court overturned it. Now the supporters of nationalization have gone through a referendum - let's see what happens. To take away and divide is, of course, not a method, but people also need to live somewhere. And no one will like it when half of the salary goes to rent, and another 20 percent - to utility bills. The referendum is the right of the people, they have collected votes, and carry out. And choose the topic yourself.
Filling out the ballots turned out to be simple and quick, it took no more than five minutes.
With a bunch of papers I leave the booth, there is already a queue. I go up to the next members of the election commission. Now they check my identity to see if I am on the voter lists. Hurray, I am, so I did not fill in all the papers in vain!
Now the last step is the urn. In front of two ballot boxes - to the Bundestag and the Berlin parliament - a young man. He helps everyone to throw ballots into the correct ballot boxes. The main thing is not to throw the certificate along with the ballots into the ballot box, I joked. The young man suddenly smiled: yes, be careful, otherwise we will not be able to help you before 6 pm, the ballot box is sealed.
He asks for faithfulness to fold the ballots again - so that no one can see. My husband, out of habit, shoved all the papers to me, they say, throw it. But that was not the case - ordnung! You are a voter, you yourself throw it into the ballot box, the observer at the ballot boxes said sternly but politely.
The whole procedure took no more than 7 minutes. Now it remains to wait until evening. Exactly at 6, all channels will give the first results. Then we will find out whether Merkel's party will join the opposition or everything will remain as it was in the country.