People with disabilities in the Netherlands still experience difficulties when going to cast their votes. After the Provincial States elections the voting hotline of the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights received 188 reports about the accessibility of polling stations, compared to 148 reports after the municipal elections in 2018, NOS reports.
While most polling stations for the Provincial States elections opened smoothly and on time on Wednesday morning, there were a few problems. One polling station in Alkmaar is closed due to a fire on Wednesday morning. A number of polling stations in Amsterdam opened over an hour late. And residents of a Rotterdam neighborhood didn't get their voting passes.
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.
A number of polling stations across the Netherlands opened late or had to move on Wednesday morning due to various problems ranging from lost keys to a virus outbreak, NOS reports.
A polling station in a residential care center in Hardegarijp, Friesland had to be relocated due to an outbreak of the noro virus, a virus that causes symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and severe abdominal cramps. The polling station was moved to center IT Maskelyn. There was already a polling station there, but its capacity has now been expanded.
The counting of votes in Dutch elections must be better checked and there must be more transparency into the process, Minister Ronald Plasterk of Home Affairs concluded after evaluating the parliamentary election in March, ANP reports.
The Amsterdam municipality visited a polling station at a Turkish mosque in the Dutch capital after the mosque was accused of pressuring voters with posters of what is believed to be a religious movement controlled and paid by the Turkish government, RTL Nieuws reports.
Polling stations must be politically neutral, so that voters' decisions aren't influenced. The municipality is having the text on the poster translated to see whether it breaks the rules.
A man in a niqab, a garment that only shows the eyes, tried to cast a vote, posing as a woman, in Amsterdam West in De Boomgaard elementary school. He presented a voting pass and a passport, belonging to a young woman, confirmed a spokesperson for the City.