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Voting by proxy is under consideration

Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Kajsa Ollongren is willing to look at the system of using proxies in the elections in the Caribbean Netherlands as part of an evaluation of the March 20 Island Council and Electoral Council elections on the three islands.

Dutch State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops stated this in a letter he sent to the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament earlier this week in connection with the visit he and Ollongren paid to Curaçao, Aruba and Bonaire April 7-11. Knops noted in his letter that there had been some challenges during the elections.

During the visit to Bonaire on April 9, Ollongren and Knops met with Island Governor Edison Rijna. The March 20 elections were discussed during that meeting.

The evaluation of the elections will serve to provide lessons for future elections, stated Knops. “The minister said she was willing to look at the evaluation with an open mind, including the procedure to use a proxy,” he stated.

In relation to the reports of abuse of proxies and the possible elimination of the use of proxies, Knops explained that the Prosecutor’s Office in Bonaire is currently investigating some 20 written proxy requests reported to the Prosecutor’s Office by Rijna.

“The Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations is planning to request the vision of the public entities regarding the current proxy regulation, after which she will consider adapting the regulation,” Knops stated.

Ollongren responded on Wednesday to the written questions submitted by Member of the Second Chamber Chris van Dam of the Christian Democratic Party CDA regarding the elections in Bonaire and media reports about “chaotic” situations on March 20.

Voters had to wait in line, sometimes for hours, before they could cast their vote. Ollongren confirmed that all voters who were still in line at 9:00pm, at the time of the closing of the voting stations, were able to cast their vote. The last person voted at 11:15pm. Unstable Internet connection and the digital support used in the identification process of voters had led to delays at the voting stations.

She stayed away from giving an opinion on the reported problems during the elections in Bonaire. “The elections will be evaluated as is customary,” she stated. Part of the evaluation will be a report of the delegation of the Organisation of American States (OAS) that was present on the island as observers.

Ollongren was willing to consider Rijna’s request to have an expert on the scene shortly before and during the next elections.

The Daily Herald.

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