March 2, 2021

The Government sets the criteria for a possible postponement of the Catalan elections due to COVID



The Government has sent the Catalan parliamentary groups its proposals for measures to be able to hold the 14F elections with sanitary and democratic guarantees, which provide, for example, to vote in pavilions and set the criteria to decide an eventual postponement of the election.

The Government has drawn up six protocols to regulate all aspects of the electoral process, from campaign events to safety and hygiene measures in polling stations, and will discuss them with the parliamentary groups tomorrow Friday at the summit to be held in Parliament. at 12.00.

These are the main measures contained in the six documents of the Government, to which Efe has had access:

ATYPICAL CAMPAIGN: LOTS OF STREAMING AND LITTLE WALKING

The protocol of the Generalitat provides that the 14F campaign is mainly telematic and that any face-to-face act is governed by the same limitations that the Procicat establishes for all citizens.

The face-to-face acts must be “static” and preferably outdoors; when they are in closed spaces there will be limited capacity, registration of attendees and strict security measures: the promotion of chants is prohibited and it is requested not to put the music too loud to prevent people from shouting when communicating.

There will be no large rallies in crowded pavilions, no walks through municipal markets in which politicians freely interact with shopkeepers or passersby; Candidates will not be allowed to kiss, hug, or shake hands.

ADAPTATION OF ELECTORAL COLLEGES

Preferably, pavilions or other similar large spaces that allow a low density capacity will be used; The enclosures must comply with a series of hygienic and sanitary measures, have good ventilation and have independent access and exit points to avoid agglomerations.

It will be necessary to establish two meters of distance between the polling stations and enable queues of voters in the street, to reduce to a minimum the number of people inside the voting premises, which only voters will be able to access.

The queues must respect the distance of 1.5 meters and guarantee the use of a mask, there will be a priority queue for “vulnerable groups” and voters must show their personal document without the members of the table having to touch it.

THE CONTAGED WILL VOTE AT THE END OF THE DAY

The Government will ask the Central Electoral Board to authorize mandatory voting slots for the different groups: from 9 to 12 hours for risk groups; from 12 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. for the general population, and from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. for people in isolation or positive for coronavirus, who must carry a certificate of self-responsibility.

In the event that this request is denied, the Generalitat will recommend voting in different bands, relying on “common sense”, and the section for those infected will be advanced from 19 to 20 hours.

The experts consulted by the Generalitat consider that allowing isolated or infected people to leave home to vote for a limited time does not pose a “significant risk”, provided that a series of measures such as the use of protective materials and disinfection are complied with of spaces.

VOTING MODALITIES

The Government recommends having the envelope and the ballot prepared from home and “rejects the possibility of voting on different days”, given that enabling a second voting day would require modifying the electoral law in record time and would entail a higher organizational and logistical cost.

The voting by mail procedure is adapted, however, to allow the entire voting procedure to be carried out without having to go to a Post Office, a modality that has already been validated by the Central Electoral Board.

Voting by mail can be requested electronically through recognized digital certificates and the postmen who carry the documentation will be authorized as “custodians of the vote”, so that a person in quarantine will be able to vote without leaving home.

COVID DEVICE

One of the six protocols drawn up by the Government proposes creating a “COVID Elections Device”, a health security team composed of the Health Security Office -centralized in the General Directorate of Citizen Participation and Electoral Processes- and a “COVID-19 responsible “in each local administration, in addition to a person in charge in each electoral college on the 14F.

Those responsible in the polling stations must control the orderly access of voters, organize queues, guarantee safety distances, ensure that there are no crowds and generally ensure compliance with health regulations.

EPIDEMIOLOGICAL SCENARIOS

The Government plans to create a table of parties to inform them of the evolution of the pandemic and its impact on the preparations for the 14F that would be convened by the “minister with powers in electoral matters” to communicate “decisions of special relevance.”

“In the event of major changes or postponement of the date of the elections, the maximum consensus will be sought” at the party table, which will be a “non-binding consultative body,” according to the protocol, which proposes the date on January 15 to make “a first evaluation of the epidemiological scenarios of the electoral period”, with periodic reviews every seven days.

The document raises a total of nine possible scenarios based on the plans against the pandemic approved by the Procicat: seven of them foresee that the vote is guaranteed to the entire census, even with extraordinary measures, and the remaining two contemplate an electoral postponement .

The first postponement scenario would occur in a context of “absolute restriction of social activities” in wide sectors and very limited capacity in the rest, limitation of social gatherings to six people, limitation of night mobility and perimeter confinements, in a situation of “very high risk to health” and danger of “overflow of the health system”.

The second scenario that would also justify a postponement, according to the Government, would be that of a worsening of the pandemic that would lead to a new home confinement, with restricted mobility and global closure of social activity except essential services due to “deep health crisis.”

.



Source link