17 votes cast at overnight polling station in Castricum; polling stations open

Woman casting her vote at an Amsterdam polling station, 21 March 2018
Woman casting her vote at an Amsterdam polling station, 21 March 2018. (Photo: Zachary Newmark / NL Times)

The polling station in Castricum that opened at midnight received 17 voters during the early hours of Wednesday morning. The polling station at the train station in the Noord-Holland town was the first to open for the Provincial States election. Most other polling stations opened at 7:30 a.m. 

Hans van Schoor, who manned the polling station overnight, told ANP that he is happy they were open for the 17 voters who came to cast their vote. "Voters are happy with it. We had a man who had to catch a plane at 8:00 a.m.. He could vote with us." Most of the voters came in between midnight and 1:00 a.m. "After that it was quiet Now the first people are coming in who want to vote before their work", Van Schoor said to the news wire.

Throughout the country, around 10 thousand polling stations are open for the Provincial States elections. Most of them opened at 7:30 a.m. and will remain open until 9:00 p.m., according to broadcaster NOS. Over 13 million people can cast their vote today to elect 570 members of the Provincial States, who in turn will determine the composition of the Dutch Senate in May. The waterboards elections are also happening today.

The turnout for the Provincial States elections is usually low, usually below 50 percent, according to NOS. The first turnout forecast is expected at around 11:00 a.m., and the first results at around 9:30 p.m. 

Voters must remember to take their voting pass and proof of identity, such as their passport, ID card or driver's license, with them to the polling station. No children over the age of 3 years will be allowed to enter the voting booth with their parents. If you cross the wrong square on your voting pass, you will be allowed one new one. The wrong voting pass will be destroyed. Voters will be allowed to take a selfie in the voting booth - a so-called stemfie. 

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