Press release no. 42/21 of September 18, 2021
2021 Bundestag Election: decision temporarily suspended in legal dispute with forsa
WIESBADEN – On 17 September 2021, the Higher Administrative Court of Hessen suspended the previous day’s ruling of the Administrative Court of Wiesbaden in the legal dispute between the Federal Returning Officer and the forsa polling institute until the Senate has decided on the complaint filed by the Federal Returning Officer. The Court reasoned that the publication of survey results would create a fait accompli that would be irreversible.
On 16 September, the Administrative Court of Wiesbaden established by restraining order that Section 32 (2) of the Federal Elections Act were not violated by forsa publishing survey results which were based as an aggregated (not separately shown) component also on information provided before the end of polling hours, that is, before 26 September 2021 at 6 p.m., by postal voters on votes already cast.
From the viewpoint of the Federal Returning Officer, publishing survey results before polling hours are over is a violation of Section 32 (2) of the Federal Elections Act if postal voters are asked not only which candidate or party they intend to vote for but also whether they have already cast their vote, and which candidate or party they have voted for. The Federal Returning Officer had therefore lodged a complaint with the Higher Administrative Court of Hessen against the ruling of the Administrative Court of Wiesbaden.
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