Industrial park Himmelkron: now the citizens must decide

Industrial park himmelkron: now the citizens must decide

Will himmelkron get a new business park – or will the plans be halted?? This question has been the subject of discussion in the community for months now. Now it is to be decided in a referendum by the citizens. The countdown is on. In little more than two weeks – on the 26th of march. May, the day of the european elections – skycroneans are called to vote.

It’s not without its flaws – and we’re not talking about a formal glitch in the brieahl paperwork that caused a stir in the run-up to the election (see below). In fact, there are a number of things to keep in mind during the vote so as not to give away any votes. What is at stake? The municipality of himmelkron plans to designate a new commercial area north of bundesstrabe 303, which is to be developed and marketed by an investor. Resistance is mounting against this plan. A citizens’ initiative "no to the new industrial zone" has been formed and the citizens’ petition "for the preservation of the himmelkron natural landscape" has been submitted on the way. The municipal council responded with a council motion "successfully shaping the future" reacts. The people of himmelkroner are supposed to vote on both on the 26th. May vote. How to vote? The citizens will receive a ballot with a total of three questions. Two of them can be answered with "yes or "no to be answered. The third question is a trick question with two different possible answers. What exactly is asked in referendum 1 (council petition "successfully shaping the future")?? "Are you in favor of the municipality of himmelkron realizing the planned commercial area "north of the B 303"? – under the mabgabe that at least 60% of the uberbaubaren surfaces exclusively for the use by handicraft, trade, service enterprises and producing trade are available – further promotes?" what exactly is asked in the referendum 2 (citizens’ petition "for the preservation of the himmelkroner cultural landscape")??

"Are you in favor of stopping all municipal plans to build a commercial area himmelkron-nord (north of the B 303) in order to save the landscape, protect agricultural land, avoid additional traffic pollution and preserve the quality of life of the people of himmelkron??" what is the key question? "If the questions put to the vote in referendum 1 and 2 are answered by a majority of yes or by a majority of no in a way that is incompatible with each other: which decision should then apply??" – the two possible answers in this case are "further planning" or planning stop". It sounds complicated. Why is it like this? In an election, the majority of votes usually pays. Here it is different. A referendum is accepted if it is approved by a majority of "yes" votes is answered and the number of yes votes exceeds the so-called quorum (20 percent of those entitled to vote, ca. 590 votes). It is therefore theoretically possible that both decisions are adopted – and then block each other. Then decides the result of the question, whereby here the simple majority pays. What happens when voters don’t answer all three questions? Then only the answered questions will be counted; the others will be considered invalid. Therefore, three crosses should be made in any case – one for each question. Otherwise votes were given away. Is a written vote possible before the 26. May possible? Just as it is possible to vote by mail in a political election, it is also possible to vote by mail in a referendum. How to get the documents, is written on the election notification card. The documents are now all correct. When will be paid? On 26. May the european election is paid out first, then the referendum is.

Red or green: why there was brief confusion and how it was resolved

Can it work? The question has been asked more than once in the last few days in himmelkron. The reason: in the documents sent by the municipality on request for the postal vote on the two referenda (see above) an error had crept in. The ballot paper must be put in a light red envelope, so it is hieb es. A mistake: the envelope is light green. The red envelope is intended for the ballot paper for the european elections.

Obviously, the responsible employees in the municipality of himmelkron did not notice the error when the form was prepared together with the service company (AKDB bavaria).

Has the misstatement caused so much confusion that the vote may be in jeopardy?? Is the vote on the castle referendum still valid in view of the error??

Everything is not so bad! This is the reassuring comment from the district administration office in kulmbach, which is now involved in the matter as the legal supervisory authority. " serious negative effects can almost be ruled out" according to a statement signed by press secretary david buchwald.

Theoretically, buchwald continues, it is possible that, especially in the case of absentee voting, voting documents could be mixed up or misallocated and ballots could end up in the wrong envelope.

Trained electoral board

In order to avoid confusion or mixing, when several elections are held on the same day, documents in different colors have always been used. Nevertheless, there were and still are confusions and incorrect allocations, especially in the brie numbers.

But county press officer buchwald also assures: "the election committees are trained to process these constellations. In many cases, the vote can be ‘saved’ by subsequently assigning it to the correct choice."

The district office also points out that only between 23. April and the 3. May incorrect documents were issued. "The error was corrected immediately after it became known in the municipality, so that on the ballot papers from the 6. May the correct envelope color is specified."

What are the consequences of the error?? Election documents may now have to be resent? "The citizens whose voting documents were received in the time from 23. April to 3. May are made aware of the error by the municipality of himmelkron in a letter", explains david buchwald. "In case of problems, the already issued voting form can be declared invalid, then new voting documents will be issued to the citizens concerned."

Double counting is then ruled out in any case. "The invalidation of all the erroneous ballots already issued is not foreseen and not necessary."

According to the district office, it is unlikely that the wrong envelopes were actually used. The voting documents for the referendum and the election documents for the european elections were handed out in separate envelopes and had an "incompatible" design format. This means that the forms are of different sizes – and do not fit into each other’s envelopes without massive help. "In addition, the correct envelope colors are shown both pictorially and literally on the information sheets enclosed with the respective documents."

Himmelkroner are clever

Nevertheless, the municipality of himmelkron will play it safe. As david buchwald explains, the voting letters for the referendum and the election letters for the european elections that have been returned so far have been subjected to a thorough visual inspection and a weight check. Experienced election workers could determine whether everything was in order just by touching the envelopes (haptic testing).

And last but not least: the people of himmelkroner are clever and think along with you. "Inquiries with citizens who delivered their ballots in person revealed that they had predominantly used the enclosed leaflet as a guide." and that was, after all, error-free.

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