Poland’s “safe elections” see record turnout despite pandemic

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More than 19 million people (64.51 percent of voters) participated in Sunday’s first round of presidential elections, one of the highest turnouts in Polish democratic history.

Janusz Cieszyński, Deputy Minister of Health, stated that the Polish government was able to organize safe elections due to delivering voting stations with protective equipment supplied by the Ministry of Health.

“There were 5 million pairs of gloves, hundreds of thousands of liters of disinfectant liquid and masks, especially in the regions where the levels of infections were the highest,” he said. The deputy minister added that polling stations were also able to minimize crowds within the buildings.

The deputy minister added that owing to the hard work of voting commissions, a visit to the voting station was safer than a trip to a local shop.

Cieszyński said there is still an obligation to wear face masks in spaces where Poles cannot keep a safe distance from one another. During the elections, voters had to keep that in mind and abide by health security restrictions: maintaining a two meter distance, covering their mouth and nose by using a mask or clothing. When entering a voting station, voters also had to disinfect their hands or wear their own gloves.

The second round of the elections will be held on July 12. Incumbent Andrzej Duda will face Civic Platform’s (PO) Rafał Trzaskowski after Duda secured a strong lead in the first round.

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