Ballots can go to press

The meeting was really just a formality. The county election committee met late tuesday afternoon and confirmed that all nominations for the county council election on 15. March are in order and therefore valid. The county’s citizens will therefore find on the ballots the lists of CSU, SPD, the young burgers, free voters, greens, social burgers and afd. The payment made here corresponds, by the way, to the order in which the proposals were received by the district office in each case. The bank had been closed by the 23rd. January time. This deadline had already been met by all. But that’s when the work really began for the district authority. Georg herold, head of the municipal affairs department, has around 30 years of experience in organizing elections and knows the rules inside out. Simply waving them through is not an option, despite all the routine: "there are still things that haven’t been done yet, he says with a grin.

Above all, there are always changes in the law that have to be taken into account. Among the new requirements is, for example, the rule that in a polling station where no more than 50 ballots have been cast, the ballots may not be counted. The reason: with so few votes cast, the secrecy of the ballot can no longer really be guaranteed. The election workers then have to take the ballot boxes to another polling station, where they are counted together. Making this known locally was a task that the district office has already taken care of, as departmental and election manager michael wutz has already let it be known. The main reason for the new rules is that there are more and more ballot candidates and these are not available in the respective voting districts.

Seven election proposals to be reviewed may not sound like much at first. However, we are talking about 317 candidates. The parties or groupings make advance payments and provide information on each individual’s age, place of residence, occupation and honorary posts – together with their signature. They would do well to do it correctly and completely – otherwise they would be offering their "competition" a chance attack flat, notes georg herold. So several DIN A4 sheets of paper come together from every candidate. In total, these fill three folders for the 2020 district elections alone.

How the previous election meeting took place is also of interest during the examination: minutes are required. The possibility that two people in the quiet chamber determine a ranking is thus prevented. Even in the event that someone is no longer available, replacements should be designated or the follow-up should be clarified. Georg herold tells us that it has actually happened in the past that a nomination meeting had to be repeated.

The election administrator is responsible for ensuring that everything that will ultimately appear on the ballot paper corresponds to the facts. Georg herold chaired the election committee meeting as his deputy. All four assessors were present – gerhard popp from the CSU, josef stark from the SPD, bernhard kasper from the free voters and markus kohlerschmidt from the young burgers. The seats were allocated according to precise specifications: the four strongest forces were allowed to send a representative in accordance with the results of the last election. However, this was not allowed to be one of the candidates. County councillors who want to be re-elected are eliminated from the outset for this control committee. In addition to josef stark, georg vonbrunn (CSU), winfried weinbeer (CSU), bernhard christoph (grune) and thomas kneipp (CSU) will definitely no longer be members of the new district council because they are no longer standing for election.

After everything has been found to be in order, the data can now be passed on to the printing company for the production of the ballot papers.

However, the district administration keeps out of the way candidates present themselves on brochures or flyers: that is election advertising.

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