The election of the members of the Second Chamber on March 17th, 2021 will be a remarkable election in a remarkable time. 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 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 meters distance from others. Voters must wear a face mask and disinfect their hands upon entry. The voter receives a clean pencil and the voting booths and other surface contact points (such as door handles and doorposts) are cleaned regularly. The polling station members sit behind a cough screen and use face masks and disposable gloves. Voters with corona related symptoms are asked not to come to the polling station, but to vote by authorizing someone.
In the current epidemiological situation in the Windward Islands, these measures may seem tough. 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 organization of this election. This way we ensure that everyone can vote as safely as possible.
The public entity of 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 is open for this on Monday, March 15th and Tuesday, March 16th. This polling station has the same opening hours as the polling stations on Wednesday, March 17th from 7:30 am to 9:00 pm.
For more information about the election and all applicable measures, please visit www.rijksdienstcn.com/secondchamberelection or the Facebook page ‘Tweede Kamerverkiezing CN 2021’.