Bring your own pen: Democracy in Poland's vote test epidemic Voters in Poland

Bring your own pen: Democracy in Poland's vote test epidemic  Voters in Poland went to the polls on Sunday to take part in Europe's first presidential election since the epidemic.    Voters should bring their pens. Masks are required for anyone entering the polling station in Warsaw and other Polish cities. Doors should be kept open so that people do not touch the handle. And voters will be given three feet of personal space in all directions.


Bring your own pen: Democracy in Poland's vote test epidemic Voters in Poland went to the polls on Sunday to take part in Europe's first presidential election since the epidemic.


Voters should bring their pens. Masks are required for anyone entering the polling station in Warsaw and other Polish cities. Doors should be kept open so that people do not touch the handle. And voters will be given three feet of personal space in all directions.

These are some of the measures taken in Poland to ensure that people can safely vote in Europe's first presidential election since the coronavirus epidemic spread across the continent.

Elections have been delayed since May and last week's polls indicated that there was no clear winner with more than 50 percent of the vote, which would force a runoff election in two weeks.

There are about a dozen candidates representing a wide range of views, from right-to-right to ultra-cerebral. President Andrzej Dudaku's Chief Challenger and Warsaw Mayor Rafael Trzkowski, who led the commanding lead in the 2015 elections and before the delay.

In many ways, these elections are a referendum on the ruling law and the Justice Party, which came to power in 2015 and formulated an ambitious agenda for state revival. For government opponents, the ruling party represents a fundamental threat to democracy, and the country has already been placed on the chart in Hungary, where single-party control allows for a steady flow of autocratic rule.

Leaders of the Law and Justice party and Mr. Duda chose the election as a fight against the spirit of the nation, with L.G.B.T. When immigration at immigrants five years ago helped the rise of popular leaders across the continent, communities such as Vitriol.

Although the old controversy was defined as much debated before the election, it played out against a different theme of an epidemic.

Poland was one of the first countries to close the borders, and when it closed in March, it did so entirely. Military police were sent to the streets to ensure that people did not violate the rules.

It was one of the first countries in Europe to reduce coronavirus restrictions, and on May 20, the mandate to wear masks was lifted. There were gyms, restaurants, and movie theaters about everything before the epidemic opened.

There were 285 new cases reported on Friday, and the reopening still did not cause major spikes in new infections. So far, more than 33,000 cases and 1,429 deaths have occurred.

But a ban is on large gatherings of more than 150 people.

And elections, by their very nature, are big conventions.

On Friday night, in the Old Town Square outside the Royal Castle, where once the Emperors of Poland were housed and rebuilt brick after being destroyed in World War II, hundreds of people attended Mr. Trzkowski's last campaign speech. To.

"It would be awful if we lost it," said one supporter, Agta Rezzewska. "Democracy is about to end."

Magda Szczvidaska was concerned that the ruling party could use the epidemic to challenge the outcome.

"I'm very worried," he said. She feared that the government would announce in the event that the elections were delayed, she would lose.

“The epidemic is one aspect of political play in Poland,” she said.

The election is widely regarded in the history of this young democracy, which held its first, partially free election in 1989.

This is often a bitter campaign in which the ruling party returns to cultural issues and rallies its loyalists. Mr. Duda likened homosexuality to communist ideology and reduced his harsh rhetoric to international condemnation.

Mr. Duda is not technically a member of the ruling law and the Justice Party, but he has the backing of the party's founder and president, Jaroslav Kaminski.

Mr. Kezkenski was often disappointed by court rulings when his party ran the country from 2005 to 2007. After coming back to power in 2015, he canceled what he sees as the mistakes of the early years of Polish democracy.

Legal experts at the European Commission have found that these changes are too much a threat to legal impartiality and undermine democratic values.

The battle against the European Union is a war on the courts. Mr. Kezkenski often took those wars as wars for Polish sovereignty.

Kazakinski said at Wednesday's party's youth conference, "Poland is an independent island and it should be an island of independence." "If President Andrzej Duda is talking about Polish-American relations in America today, including the military, he is fighting for independence, Polish independence."

However, Polish voters in the EU are highly favored and Mr. Trejakovsky has made the relationship an important part of his platform

"It's important that no one separates us from Europe," he said during a recent campaign. "We are a tough companion, but a partner who does not insult anyone; we are a state that is fighting for our interests; a state that is a creative partner.

In Poland, the logistics of socially distorted voting are challenging but manageable, election officials said.

The Ministry of Health has issued detailed guidelines for all voting districts. Each station is required to provide disposable gloves, disinfectant liquid, medical-grade face masks, and face shields.


Voters should be given three feet of personal space in each direction. Stations must be broadcast at least once before the start of voting and 10 minutes.

Surfaces are easily cleaned so that traditional green tablecloths are not used.


According to the guidelines, "People inside the polling station clean touchable equipment such as door handles, ballot boxes, tabletops, handles and light switches." Then, remove them at least once an hour and at least six times on election day.


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