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Poland takes measures for secure local elections

03.04.2024 20:45
Poland is gearing up to ensure security during its upcoming local elections, with a focus on both digital and physical safety, according to officials.
Polands Digital Affairs Minister Krzysztof Gawkowski and Interior Minister Marcin Kierwiński attend a news conference in Warsaw on Wednesday.
Poland's Digital Affairs Minister Krzysztof Gawkowski and Interior Minister Marcin Kierwiński attend a news conference in Warsaw on Wednesday.Photo: PAP/Marcin Obara

At a joint news conference in Warsaw on Wednesday, Interior Minister Marcin Kierwiński and Digital Affairs Minister Krzysztof Gawkowski emphasized the comprehensive measures being taken to ensure the security of the upcoming ballot on April 7, Polish state news agency reported.

On Sunday, Poles will head to the ballot box for the first round of voting to elect their local body representatives at regional, county and municipal levels.

The second round of voting for mayors, aldermen and other local government officials will be held on April 21.

Kierwiński and Gawkowski on Wednesday highlighted the government’s commitment to maintaining the integrity of its electoral process through both digital and physical security measures, addressing the challenges of misinformation and ensuring all citizens can participate in a safe and informed manner.

Gawkowski emphasized the importance of digital security, noting recent efforts to ensure a safe voting environment. He encouraged voters to use the mObywatel app to easily find their polling station, a move designed to enhance voter convenience and confidence.

He addressed the escalating issue of election-related misinformation, stressing the importance of the upcoming days when such false information might breach the campaign blackout period, also known as election silence.

National cybersecurity research and development organizations are prepared to handle reports of misinformation, and other related incidents that may occur, Gawkowski told reporters.

Kierwiński, meanwhile, reiterated the importance of reporting any violations of electoral law, including breaches of election silence, to the police. He also reminded voters to check the location of their polling station ahead of time and clarified that voting certificates for voting outside one’s district are particular to each election.

Such certificates "do not survive" beyond the given round of voting, he said.

Additionally, Kierwiński announced that his ministry is co-funding transportation for eligible voters over 60, ensuring their participation in the election process.

The call for vigilance against misinformation was a key theme, with Kierwiński urging the public to report any suspicious information that could be considered electoral misinformation.

He stressed the importance of public awareness and active participation in combating misinformation, encouraging everyone to vote and choose their local representatives wisely, the PAP news agency reported.


Source: IAR, PAP