The redistribution elections that were held on Wednesday in a small part of Groningen and North Brabant went well, the Ministry of the Interior reports Thursday. Polling stations were corona proof and turnout was “stable” despite the pandemic, the ministry said.
The way in which the redivision elections took place were closely monitored by The Hague this year. The elections, which are held when the boundary of one or more municipalities is changed, were seen as a foretaste of the parliamentary elections in corona time.
“Voters have seen that voting in corona time is safe and secure,” said Minister Kajsa Ollongren (Internal Affairs) after the elections. “We can use these experiences in preparing for the national elections next March.”
“Voting for the new municipality of Eemsdelta went fine. Face mask on, disinfect hands and the walking direction was clearly indicated. The employees were behind a transparent screen. I was outside again within 5 minutes. ”
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In the municipality of Vught, 51 percent of those entitled to vote showed up, reports Brabants Dagblad. That is 8 percent less than during the previous regular municipal elections. “But the turnout for redivision elections is always lower and in combination with corona I am happy that we have finished above 50 percent,” Mayor Roderick van de Mortel told the newspaper.
In Appingedam, Delfzijl and Loppersum, which together will form the municipality of Eemsdelta, turnout was 44 percent. “Corona has had relatively little influence”, Mayor Gerard Beukema van Delfzijl said on Wednesday RTV North. Rather, he feared that turnout would be “historically low”.
Two weeks ago, Ollongren announced that voting can be done by post during the upcoming parliamentary elections and that someone cannot cast two but three authorized votes. There may also be polling stations in nursing homes and it is being investigated whether more mobile polling stations can be set up.