Municipal election turnout up to 39% at 11:00 a.m.; Few irregularities
By 11:00 a.m., multiple municipalities reported interim turnouts for the municipal elections. Vlieland had the highest turnout at 39 percent. Hardewijk reported a turnout of 23 percent, Nijmegen 19 percent, Utrecht 16 percent, and Rotterdam just over 10 percent. Amsterdam did not have figures available for Wednesday morning, NU.nl reports.
Wednesday is the official election day for the municipal elections. But due to the coronavirus, the government decided to allow early voting on Monday and Tuesday to spread voters out more.
So far, voting seems to have gone mostly smoothly. There have been a few irregularities, though. The polling station in the Muziekcentrum in Zoeterwoude remained closed on Wednesday after several polling station workers tested positive for the coronavirus, the municipality confirmed to Omroep West. Zoeterwoude voters can go to De Klaverhal or the local scouting clubhouse to cast their vote.
One of the candidates on the Rheden ballot died on Sunday after a short illness, NOS reports. Herman Boesveld was sixth on the CDA's candidate list in the municipality. It was too late to change the electoral lists. The final lists had to be submitted by January 31. Any votes cast for Boesveld will be counted for the party.
And in Amstelveen, Leendert van de Merbel is one of the candidates for GroenLinks, but couldn't cast his vote himself. He is blind, and his polling station was not accessible to the visually impaired. He had to authorize his wife to cast his vote, NH Nieuws wrote. "It's quite strange," Van de Merbel told the broadcaster. "Because the campaign is always that every vote counts, so you would expect serious work to be done to make voting accessible to everyone."
Van de Merbal has raised the problem with Amstelveen mayor Mirjam van 't Veld, but so far, the municipality hasn't made facilities to help the blind and partially sighted to vote independently.