Some 700 polling places shuttered on Ukraine referendum day

Hilversum vote
Voters show up early to cast their ballots in Hilversum (photo: Gemeente Hilversum / Twitter). (A voting station in Hilversum (photo: Gemeente Hilversum / Twitter))

About 10 percent of voting stations in the Netherlands will not be open for voting in the Ukraine referendum on April 6th, according to a survey done by NOS among the Dutch municipalities.

A total of 311 of the 390 Dutch municipalities participated in the survey. During the provincial elections last year, these 311 municipalities had a total of 7 thousand voting stations. With the Ukraine referendum, there will only be about 6,300.

The number of voting stations usually fluctuate between elections, but for the Ukraine referendum the decrease is striking. Between the European and provincial elections, the number of voting stations fell by 99. Between the provincial elections and the Ukraine referendum, the drop is around 700.

The referendum is about the association agreement the European Union made with Ukraine. Parts of the agreement were already implemented on January 1st. The Dutch Senate and lower house of parliament approved it last year, but postponed their decision pending the outcome of this referendum. Supporters believe that the agreement will mainly improve economic cooperation, opponents think the agreement is the first step for the Ukraine to gain EU membership, which will lead to problems with Russia.