Minister, municipalities confident parliamentary elections can happen in March
Despite concerns about the extra contagious B117 coronavirus spreading in the Netherlands, Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and the association of Dutch municipalities VNG are confident that the parliamentary elections can be held safely in March. Too much has already been organized to cancel now, the VNG said to BNR.
Municipalities have already taken multiple measures to make sure the elections can proceed safely. They are in the process of finding bigger locations for polling stations where social distancing will be easier. They're also recruiting extra volunteers to help out at the polling stations, and help count the mail-in votes.
Voters over the age of 70 will vote by mail this year, so that this vulnerable group don't have to risk catching the coronavirus at a polling station. Many polling stations are also opening two days earlier than election day on March 17, so voters can spread out more.
The VNG and the Dutch association of mayors NVVB therefore believe that voting can be done safely during the pandemic.
Ollongren agrees, she said to NOS. "The municipalities are working hard to ensure that polling stations are in order and to recruit polling station members. That is actually going very well."
She is keeping a close eye on developments, the outgoing Minister said. "But corona-proof elections can be held."