The Malta Independent 17 August 2022, Wednesday

Amidst pandemic restrictions, Malta should legalise voting in election from abroad, Volt Malta says

Tuesday, 28 September 2021, 12:13 Last update: about 12 months ago

With the next general election now less than a year away and with travel restrictions owing to the Covid-19 pandemic still present, Malta should allow citizens who live abroad to be able to vote through an embassy, consulate, or by mail, new political party Volt Malta has said.

In a statement, the Maltese branch of the pan-European Volt movement said that the government “should not forget the Maltese citizens living abroad, especially those who don’t meet Malta’s vaccination requirements for entry without a mandatory quarantine.”

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Likewise, this also concerns Maltese citizens who have been vaccinated in a country whose vaccine certificate isn’t recognised yet or those who were previously sick with Covid-19 and subsequently only received one dose of the vaccine instead of two – owing to the country they are living in considering them as fully vaccinated; a practice which Malta hasn’t adopted.

Volt Malta said that it believes that nobody should be left behind and that the right to vote in an election is one which should not be taken lightly.

The party also said that the changing dynamic of Covid-19 regulations and the unpredictability of the situation may discourage people from exercising their rights to vote.

“As a Maltese citizen, you have a right to vote, and as such, it should be the obligation of the government to make that possible even while you are abroad - whether it be by casting your vote at an embassy/consulate or mailing your ballot to the nearest embassy/consulate,” comments Kass Mallia, the party’s Vice-President.

“Even if you’re living in Malta, considering the high turnout rate, with postal voting being legalised we can minimise queuing and congregations of people around the voting booth locations,” Arnas Lasys, party Co-President, said.

“We also have to keep in mind vulnerable people, both in Malta and outside who would risk compromising their health by going to an embassy, voting booth, or flying to Malta to exercise their civic duty.  That's why we need to introduce both voting from abroad, and postal voting,’’ added Alexia DeBono, party Co-President.

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