It cannot be excluded that next year’s parliamentary elections will be postponed due to the corona crisis.
Minister Ollongren writes to the House of Representatives that there is currently no reason whatsoever to assume that the organization of elections is not possible and that it is not currently under discussion. However, because the distance of one and a half meters in particular could cause difficulties in elections, she is currently developing various scenarios. She also involves the Electoral Council.
Reclassifications and St. Eustatius
The elections to the House of Representatives are scheduled for March 17, 2021. Reclassification elections are scheduled for later this year in Groningen and Noord-Brabant and elections for the Island Council of St. Eustatius.
Municipalities should make it clear in the near future how they intend to observe a meter and a half at polling stations. They should also consider other protective measures.
Ollongren emphasizes in her letter that the spread of the corona virus will remain uncertain in the coming months, but that the distance of one and a half meters will continue to apply. She hopes that all elections can be held in the usual way, but she takes into account restrictive measures, in particular on how polling stations should be set up.
Vote by letter
According to Ollongren, it is theoretically possible that “other options may be considered” if polling stations cannot be arranged in the necessary manner. She also mentions postponement of elections. The legal options differ per election, she emphasizes. Voting by letter is also considered.
According to the minister, postponement of the parliamentary elections is legally possible until March 2022. This requires a law: both Houses will have to agree to this.