Nijmegen polling station kicks off 3rd day of election; 12% turnout so far
Millions of Netherlands residents will go to the polls on Wednesday to cast their vote in the 2021 parliamentary election. The polling station at Nijmegen Central Station was the first to open at 5:15 a.m., kicking off the third day of voting, NU.nl and NOS report.
The approximately 13.2 million voters can go to one of some 9,200 polling stations on Wednesday. Most will be open between 7:30 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, 1,600 polling stations were also open on Monday and Tuesday, with the intention that vulnerable people can cast their vote safely and the voting crowds can spread out somewhat. The turnout by 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday was 12 percent - exactly double Monday's turnout. This does not include mail-in votes.
Special measures apply to all polling stations, to minimize the risk of coronavirus infection. Pencils, voting booths, tables, and other objects will be cleaned regularly. Some municipalities will give voters their own red pencil to cast their vote, which they can take home with them afterwards.
The curfew, between 9:00 p.m. and 4:30 a.m., still applies, but there is an exemption for people who were at the polls or helping with the elections.
This year, 37 parties are participating in the parliamentary election - a post war record. Only in 1922 did more parties participate, at 53. Voters can choose from 1,579 candidates on Wednesday, a sharp increase compared to 2017's 1,116 candidates. According to the polls, 15 parties have a chance at getting into parliament.