Austria: High Court Hears Challenge to Presidential Vote | Bloomberg

Austria’s Constitutional Court began questioning 90 election officials and assessors Monday in Vienna at an unprecedented hearing that will determine whether Alexander Van der Bellen was rightfully elected president. The populist Freedom Party challenged the election, in which its candidate Norbert Hofer lost by just over 30,000 votes out of more than 4.5 million cast, by alleging some ballots were opened too early and others were counted by people not authorized to do so. Witnesses from the Innsbruck region confirmed some of the allegations but said they were a long-standing practice needed to count the votes in time and didn’t compromise the results. Along with 13 other justices on the bench, the court’s top judge, Gerhart Holzinger, 69, posed questions to a rural electoral official from the western province of Tirol. At issue was whether the court case was necessary in order to address an Austrian vote-counting system whose complex rules may have rendered it practically unmanageable.

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