Sally-Orla-Kreis: The left complains of “the dismantling of democracy in the countryside”
Updated: 09/23/2021, 5:15 PM
| Reading time: 2 minutes
Philip Glesing: It doesn’t have to be standardizing polling stations
In 1989 my parents took to the streets to hold free elections. I grew up in Keila next to the information booth about the Democratic Awakening. Today there is no longer any polling station in the city – because very few people are expected to take part in the elections! This dismantling of democracy is unacceptable and sends the wrong signal in rural areas about federal elections. “This is explained by Philip Glesing, head of the left in the district of Sally Orla, about the OTZ report on the abolition of polling stations in the six municipalities of the administrative communities of Ranis-Ziegenrück and Oppurg as well as in Oberland, among others in Oberlemnitz.
During the election campaign, voters repeatedly reached out to Gleesing about the new situation, according to a statement Thursday. Citizens are frustrated and can’t believe it. Voting is not a cumbersome process, but it is fundamental to democracy. Even if it means a certain administrative effort and perhaps the expectation of more mail-in voters, in most places it is also linked to the strengthening of society,” the left-wing politician said.
After discussions with fellow activists from the Saale-Holzland region, where there are a large number of affected communities, the state authorities were turned on. Information received from the Ministry of Interior showed that the reduction in the number of polling stations is justified under Article 68(2) of the Federal Elections Law. “However, this only regulates voter counting and ballot papers can be moved elsewhere for sorting if fewer than 50 people vote – nothing more,” Glesing said. This is exactly what means that federal electoral law supposes the continued existence of small polling stations. If the goal was to integrate small polling stations, this provision would not be necessary.”
It should, of course, be clarified to what extent such “justifications” are necessary in the context of local self-government in administrative societies. In addition, other questions will arise, for example: Who will replace the fare for citizens of the neighboring municipality? Where is environmental sustainability if there is no polling station within walking distance? What does this central infection mean?
“We appeal to voters in affected communities not to allow themselves to be deterred from voting and, if necessary, to form carpools in the neighborhood,” summarizes Glesing. He calls on returning officials at the federal and state levels to make a “legal and cultural assessment of the decision to centralize polling stations.”
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