DIP Says Epidemiological Measures to Be in Place During Voting on July 5

By 29 June 2020

ZAGREB, June 29, 2020 - The State Electoral Commission (DIP) on Monday unveiled instructions on voting in the July 5 parliamentary election at polling stations and institutions for special care in the context of the coronavirus epidemic, including instructions for persons in self-isolation.

DIP chair Djuro Sessa said two technical recommendations were adopted, one on the implementation of elections at around 7,000 regular polling stations in Croatia and the other on voting in retirement homes.

Sessa called on all voters in self-isolation to contact their polling committees by Thursday so that those committees could make a work plan for Sunday.

According to DIP's recommendations, all polling stations will have to be washed and disinfected, all members of polling committees will have to wear face masks, and it has been recommended that they wear gloves as well. Gloves will be mandatory only for those members of polling committees who identify voters and those who have hand skin problems.

Disinfectants will be available at entrances to polling stations and their application will be controlled, the distance between polling booths will be 1.5 metres as will the distance between members of polling committees.

As for voting outside one's place of residence, those who cannot go to the polls due to health reasons and people in self-isolation have to report to polling committees at least three days before the election so they can vote at home, under strict compliance with epidemiological measures.

DIP recommends that voters take their temperature in the morning on election day and that if they have a temperature above 37.2 degrees Celsius, they should contact their doctor. In that case, they must not go to their polling station, just like people infected with COVID-19.

Voters are recommended to wear their own masks at polling stations as well as their own pens even though that is not obligatory. They will enter a polling station one by one, and it is desirable that they wait in the open. In the room where there is the polling committee, the number of voters will be limited to the number of polling booths.

For the sake of identification, voters will have to briefly remove their face masks while standing at a distance of two metres from members of the polling committee, said DIP deputy chair Ana Lovrin.

Epidemiological measures will be stricter for voting in retirement homes. Members of polling stations and monitors there will have to wear face masks, gloves, and shoe covers, constantly disinfecting hands and election material.

People who end up in self-isolation just before election day will be allowed to vote if they contact their polling station.

DIP said that regardless of the number of people in self-isolation, polling committees have sufficient capacity to enable voting for those who want to vote even though that right is not absolute and it has never been stated that 100% of those who have to stay at home will be able to vote, even if they register in advance.

People infected with COVID-19 will not be able to vote.

As for voters from Bosnia and Herzegovina, compulsory self-isolation for people coming from that country will be abolished.

Detailed instructions on voting in the July 5 election are available on DIP's web site.