Covid measures must not impede voters in upcoming election, MPs say
Measures in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus should not hinder or impede voters in casting their vote during the upcoming parliamentary election, a majority in parliament said in response to a legislative proposal submitted by Minister Kajsa Ollongren of Home Affairs, AD reports.
The bill stated that voters would not be allowed to enter a polling station if they do not fully pas a 'health check' - a set of questions voters are expected to ask themselves before going to the polling station. But ChristenUnie found this access ban much too big a restriction on the right to vote.
ChristenUnie parliamentarian Stieneke van der Graaf therefore proposed that the line banning voters entry to the polling station if they don't pass their health check be amended. A majority in parliament supported this.
Ollongren said that she did not intend to actively deny voters entry to a polling station if they don't pass the health check - no one would check up on that at the polling station. But she can agree to the amendment, as long as voters understand that their and others' health are their responsibility.
Van der Graaf also called on the government to make it clear to voters in advance that they have options if they are ill or quarantining on election day. They can give a power of attorney so that someone else can cast their vote, for example.
The government must also explicitly point out what measures are in place to protect voters against the virus and ensure that they can vote safely, so that they don't avoid the polls out of fear, she said.