As a result of COVID-19, a number of measures have been taken in the “Tijdelijke wet verkiezingen COVID-19″ to ensure that the Second Chamber election on March 17, 2021, proceeds as safely as possible.
These measures apply throughout the Netherlands and therefore also in the public entities of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.
The law prescribes, among other things, that there are walking routes in the polling stations so that voters can always keep a 1.5-metre distance from others. Voters must wear a face mask and disinfect their hands on entry. Each voter will receive a clean pencil and the voting booths and other surface contact points (such as door handles and doorposts) will be cleaned regularly.
The polling station members will sit behind a cough screen and use face masks and disposable gloves. Voters with COVID-19 symptoms will be asked not to go to the polling station, but to vote by authorising someone.
In the current epidemiological situation in the Windward Islands, these measures may seem tough, it was stated in a press release. ‘After all, the infections in the Caribbean Netherlands are low. The goal is to keep it that way. Because the virus is unpredictable, mutating and spreading at a rapid pace, it is necessary to take these preventive measures in the organisation of this election. This way we ensure that everyone can vote as safely as possible.”
The public entity Saba also uses the option of early voting, made possible by the “Tijdelijke wet verkiezingen COVID-19”. The early voting possibility is mainly intended for voters in the high-risk groups. The polling station at the Fire Station in The Bottom will be open on Monday, March 15, and Tuesday, March 16, during the same opening hours as the polling stations on Wednesday, March 17 — from 7:30am to 9:00pm.
For more information about the election and all applicable measures, visit www.rijksdienstcn.com/secondchamberelection or the Facebook page Tweede Kamerverkiezing CN 2021.
The Daily Herald.