Europe

Austria to postpone presidential vote due to faulty ballots

  • Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka  attends a press conference in Vienna, Austria, Monday, Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. A second attempt to elect Austria’ president this year was postponed Monday, with the country’s interior minister saying the move was dictated by the discovery that the envelopes of absentee ballots frequently could not be sealed because of faulty adhesive strips. The delay must still be formalized through a still-to-be-created law. But in asking the government do draft such legislation, Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka effectively canceled plans to hold the vote Oct. 2.  (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

    Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka attends a press conference in Vienna, Austria, Monday, Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. A second attempt to elect Austria’ president this year was postponed Monday, with the country’s interior minister saying the move was dictated by the discovery that the envelopes of absentee ballots frequently could not be sealed because of faulty adhesive strips. The delay must still be formalized through a still-to-be-created law. But in asking the government do draft such legislation, Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka effectively canceled plans to hold the vote Oct. 2. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)  (The Associated Press)

  • Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka  attends  a press conference in Vienna, Austria, Monday, Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. A second attempt to elect Austria’ president this year was postponed Monday, with the country’s interior minister saying the move was dictated by the discovery that the envelopes of absentee ballots frequently could not be sealed because of faulty adhesive strips. The delay must still be formalized through a still-to-be-created law. But in asking the government do draft such legislation, Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka effectively canceled plans to hold the vote Oct. 2.  (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

    Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka attends a press conference in Vienna, Austria, Monday, Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. A second attempt to elect Austria’ president this year was postponed Monday, with the country’s interior minister saying the move was dictated by the discovery that the envelopes of absentee ballots frequently could not be sealed because of faulty adhesive strips. The delay must still be formalized through a still-to-be-created law. But in asking the government do draft such legislation, Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka effectively canceled plans to hold the vote Oct. 2. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)  (The Associated Press)

  • A man cycles between election posters of Alexander Van der Bellen, candidate for presidential elections and former head of the Austrian Greens,  left and right, and Norbert Hofer, candidate for presidential elections of Austria's right-wing Freedom Party, FPOE, center, in Vienna, Austria, Monday, Sept. 12, 2016.  A second attempt to elect Austria’ president this year was postponed Monday, with the country’s interior minister saying the move was dictated by the discovery that the envelopes of absentee ballots frequently could not be sealed because of faulty adhesive strips. The delay must still be formalized through a still-to-be-created law. But in asking the government do draft such legislation, Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka effectively canceled plans to hold the vote Oct. 2.  Poster in center reads: Austria needs Security.  (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

    A man cycles between election posters of Alexander Van der Bellen, candidate for presidential elections and former head of the Austrian Greens, left and right, and Norbert Hofer, candidate for presidential elections of Austria's right-wing Freedom Party, FPOE, center, in Vienna, Austria, Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. A second attempt to elect Austria’ president this year was postponed Monday, with the country’s interior minister saying the move was dictated by the discovery that the envelopes of absentee ballots frequently could not be sealed because of faulty adhesive strips. The delay must still be formalized through a still-to-be-created law. But in asking the government do draft such legislation, Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka effectively canceled plans to hold the vote Oct. 2. Poster in center reads: Austria needs Security. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)  (The Associated Press)

Austria's interior minister has asked the government to postpone repeat presidential elections because of faulty absentee ballot envelopes, effectively cancelling a vote planned for next month.

Wolfgang Sobotka's decision announced Monday was prompted by a recent finding that hundreds — perhaps thousands — of the envelopes cannot be sealed because the adhesive strips meant to close them are defective.

Austria was to have decided on a president in May after left-leaning contender Alexander Van der Bellen edged out Norbert Hofer of the right-wing Freedom Party. But the country's highest court ordered a rerun after the Freedom Party claimed major irregularities.

The rerun had been scheduled for Oct. 2. With the government needing to create a new law to allow for the postponement, any repeat of the vote is unlikely before November.