Elections in corona time: health check before voting

Voters who answer one of the questions of the coronation health check with ‘yes’ in the upcoming elections must authorize someone to cast their vote. That is what Minister Ollongren of the Interior writes to the House of Representatives in a letter about measures concerning elections in corona time.

The idea is that the voting pass or the list of candidates that voters receive in advance will contain the questions from the check. People are also made aware of the health check at the entrance to the polling station.

To simplify proxy voting, Ollongren wants to make it possible to cast three proxy votes per person. Now that’s two more, in addition to his own vote. Furthermore, it will be possible to request and issue a power of attorney digitally.

Municipalities fear that fewer polling stations will be available for the parliamentary elections in March than in 2017. Research shows that a “substantial part” is not large enough to keep a distance of 1.5 metres.

Another reason is that polling stations cannot be set up in care institutions because of corona rules that they suffered there. Minister Ollongren calls on municipalities to find new polling stations in the near future. “It is therefore possible that people will have to go to a different polling station than usual

The plan is also that at the entrance of each polling station there will be an employee who will monitor whether there are not too many people inside and whether everyone is 1.5 metres away. Voters will also be called up “where possible” to vote as widely as possible.

Incidentally, the polling station staff are still a cause for concern. “We need a lot of volunteers,” says Ollongren. “Often these are older people, but I can imagine that they don’t want to, because they are vulnerable.” She therefore calls on young people to come forward.

Voting by post

Ollongren writes to the House that work is still in progress on a scenario for voting by post. In the coming weeks she will discuss this with the municipalities. She ignores the suggestion of municipalities to make internet voting possible. “The Cabinet does not want to make the voting process vulnerable to digital threats

The cabinet is allocating 30 million euros to compensate municipalities for the extra costs.