Bergheim: Workers at a polling station did not allow a woman to vote because of her headscarf and mask

At first, polling station staff in Bergheim near Cologne did not allow a woman with a headscarf and a mask to vote in the Bundestag elections. It was only after the woman had complained that the polling station staff was instructed to do so, so that the woman could finally cast her vote in the election.

The mayor of Bergheim apologized for the incident

The city cited a “misjudgment” as the reason for preventing the woman from voting. Reportedly, the election commission worker assumed that covering her face was unacceptable, even though it was reportedly clearly discussed during the training of those who were to assist with the Bundestag elections how to proceed in such a case. There is no evidence that the incident was a manifestation of Islamophobia, racism or discrimination.

The city has apologized to the woman for the “unpleasant incident.” Mayor Volker Mießeler (CDU) called her and arranged a personal meeting at city hall. He stressed that such misjudgments have no right to happen.

A video from the polling station appeared on Instagram and sparked a lively discussion

On Monday, a video surfaced on Instagram showing a conversation between a woman and polling station workers this past Sunday. The video and the woman’s description of the incident sparked outrage on social media.

In response to the statement and the phone call with the mayor, the woman herself wrote on Instagram that no specific date had yet been agreed upon. In any case, this was not an isolated case, as the problem affected at least two people. She also wrote that it is not yet possible to determine whether it was not a case of racism.


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