Want to Feel Better About American Elections?

From the Financial Times, paywalled:

It’s not every day that foreign observers are needed to monitor an election in Germany, one of the west’s richest and most stable democracies. But then again, Berlin is no ordinary city. Fourteen officials from the Council of Europe, the continent’s top human rights body, will arrive in the capital this week to observe Sunday’s rerun of its 2021 election, an event so chaotic its results were nullified: Berliners had to queue for hours at polling stations, which ran out of voting papers and ballot boxes. Some stayed open late to cope with the crowds, when broadcasters were already calling the result. For the opposition, the polling-day debacle highlights just how badly governed Berlin is. “It is a symbol of the city’s dysfunction,” said Christoph Meyer, a Berliner who sits for the liberal Free Democrats in the Bundestag, the federal parliament. “Its administration and political structures just don’t work.” Raed Saleh, leader of the ruling Social Democrats, blamed what happened on September 26 2021 on the marathon that ran concurrently and caused massive logistics problems. But he admitted the election flop was “not good” for the city’s standing. “It’s bitter, and we have to draw the right conclusions so it never happens again,” he said. The conclusion Berlin’s top court drew was that the city’s 2.8mn registered voters should be given a second chance to elect their local parliament and 12 district councils. It was the first time in Germany’s postwar history that a regional election has had to be repeated.

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