Austria May Not Stick to Election Date Amid ‘Problem’ With Glue

  • Presidency candidates expect vote to be delayed from Oct. 2
  • Government faces another unprecedented situation in election

Austria is poised to delay the rerun of its previously voided presidential election amid concerns over a manufacturing flaw in postal ballot papers that won’t properly seal.

Both candidates -- the anti-immigration Freedom Party’s Norbert Hofer and former Greens leader Alexander Van der Bellen -- said they expect the date to be postponed from Oct. 2 after the interior ministry said on Friday that it’s considering this option. The decision will be announced on Monday.

"We do indeed have a problem in Austria, and it’s called glue," Van der Bellen told reporters in Vienna, according to public broadcaster ORF. His rival told supporters in a video posted on Facebook that they shouldn’t be "disheartened" by a new election date.

Austrian media showed pictures of mail-in ballots that were sent to voters but risked not being counted because they didn’t seal up. The country’s Constitutional Court already annulled the results of the May 22 election because officials didn’t strictly observe procedures when tabulating the vote.

After Austria already faced an unprecedented situation when the court voided the country-wide runoff-vote for the presidency, it now has to figure out the technicalities of postponing a national election, which it never had to do. The government will convene and discuss the issue on Tuesday, Chancellery Minister Thomas Drozda told ORF in an interview.

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