No arrangements to facilitate pandemic voting yet, says Večer

Ljubljana – Slovenian election rules have not been adjusted to the Covid reality yet, says the newspaper Večer on Friday, noting that less than 100 days before the general election, voters should not only be informed of the date of the vote but also of quarantine-related technicalities.

President Borut Pahor has confirmed he will call the general election for 24 April, having kept his last year’s promise that Slovenians will head to the poll on the earliest date possible.

Any other choice than 24 April “would open up the abyss-like terrain of arbitrariness in the super election year and cast a shadow over the general election already in the starting blocks,” says the paper, adding that election postponement would have been “an amen to the theories that Covid will be abused to extend terms to the extreme”.

This election “will be the hour of truth not only for politicians, but also for the National Electoral Commission (DVK)”, which must rise up to the challenge by ensuring every voter, healthy or in quarantine, will be able to cast their vote.

“With less than a hundred days to go before the election, voters should rightly expect not only the date but also the technical predictability of this ‘celebration of democracy’,” says Večer.

This will be Slovenia’s first general election during a pandemic, and the country is “as far away from digital elections, with or without the virus, as it is from preferential voting”.

There is still time to come up with arrangements that would enable voting while in quarantine, but politicians seem to be leaving this to the “resourcefulness of electoral committees”, secretly hoping that Covid will turn into a flu-like disease by the spring.

Highlighting the seriousness of the situation, the commentary Days of DVK says no one even dares to imagine what would happen if a group of voters went to challenge the election results or if a politician or party declared the virus had stolen their votes.