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Incident in Bergheim: Polling station rejects woman with headscarf and mask

Incident in Bergheim : Polling station rejects woman with headscarf and mask

In Bergheim, election workers initially did not allow a woman wearing a headscarf to vote. The reason had been a misjudgment. The city has since apologised for the "embarrassing incident."

Election workers in Bergheim near Cologne initially did not allow a woman wearing a headscarf and a face mask to cast her vote in the Bundestag election. Only after a complaint by the woman to the election administration was an instruction given to the polling station and the eligible voter was able to vote, the city announced on Tuesday. Earlier, a video had been posted on Instagram purporting to show the woman's discussion with election officials on Sunday. Several media had reported on the video.

The reason for the rejection of the eligible voters was a "misjudgment," the city further announced. "According to her own statement, the election worker had assumed that the veiling was inadmissible, although the handling of any veiling was explicitly discussed during election worker training," it said. An Islamophobic, racist or discriminatory background could not be confirmed.

The city had apologised for the "embarrassing incident" to the woman. Mayor Volker Mießeler (CDU) had spoken to her on the phone and arranged a personal meeting at City Hall. "There is nothing to sugarcoat about this extraordinary misjudgment, something like this simply must not happen," Mießeler said, according to the statement.

Original text: (dpa) - Translation: Mareike Graepel