They will advance the designation of 200 thousand table authorities so that they can receive the vaccine against COVID-19 before STEP

The National Electoral Chamber decided to advance the appointment of 200 thousand table authorities so that they can receive the vaccine against COVID-19 before the Simultaneous and Mandatory Open Primary elections (PASO) on September 14. The high court also ruled that, in the selection, it will reduce the maximum age of the people to be summoned.

 As Profkay learned, the decision aims to guarantee that both table presidents and alternates have received at least one dose with enough time in advance to have effective immunization. In the judicial sphere, they suggest that, at most, the doses should be applied 20 days before STEP, that is, between August 25 and 26. “They are the most important people on election day and they have to be able to carry out their tasks with peace of mind, without fear of being infected. They are essential and strategic ”, they warned in the Electoral Chamber.

 Those responsible for this designation are the federal electoral courts of each district and are communicated by the official mail or through the special communication services of the national or provincial security agencies. Names are chosen randomly from the register, but excluding those affiliated with political parties. The requirements to be a polling station authority are, according to current legislation, "be a skilled voter, be between 18 and 70 years old, reside in the electoral section where they are going to serve and know how to read and write." Along with the decision to speed up the convocation, the Electoral Chamber also plans to modify the age range, so as not to expose the elderly.

 It is a decision that seeks to put an end to a controversy that involves the Justice and the Government in the organization of the next elections. Since the beginning of the year, when the Ministry of Health was still led by Ginés González García, the Electoral Chamber has demanded, without success, that all personnel involved in the elections receive their vaccination. After more or less informal conversations, the chambermaids circumscribed the claim to at least the 200,000 people who will be selected randomly and as every year to be table authorities. To fulfill this function, current legislation only excludes members of political parties.

 On April 15, in an official letter signed by the president of the National Electoral Chamber, Santiago Corcuera, addressed to the Minister of the Interior, Eduardo “Wado” De Pedro, the vaccination request was formally expressed. “It is requested that the list of people who find vaccines be sent to prioritize the designation modality among them, and the means be arbitrated to foresee that, with sufficient anticipation, the vaccination schedule is included as essential strategic personnel to the approximately two hundred one thousand citizens who will be summoned as table authorities ”, was the specific request sent by the Electoral Chamber in the document to which Profkay had access.

 After that letter, there was a meeting with the head of the political portfolio and the main person responsible for the organization of the elections, in which they addressed the agenda for the first national vote in times of pandemic in Argentina.

On April 28, in the meeting they held with the Minister of the Interior, Corcuera and the chambermaids Raúl Bejas and Alberto Ricardo Dalla Vía, they conveyed the need to have more resources to take care of preventive health measures, as well as that the staff destined for the election was all immunized. The official clarified that he could not deliver a list with the vaccinated people, because it could affect the right to privacy and suggested that, eventually, a way out to avoid contagion risks was to summon essential personnel who were vaccinated, such as teachers to be table authorities.

 At that meeting - which took place at the request of the official letter signed by the president of the Chamber - were the secretary for Political Affairs of the Ministry, Patricia García Blanco, and the court secretaries Hernán Goncalves Figueiredo, Sebastián Schimmel, Alejandra Lázzaro and Elena Gómez. The answer left by the holder of the political portfolio was that he would transmit the concern to his colleague Vizzotti, but from that moment until now there was no definition.

 That is why the Electoral Chamber resolved to advance the call as much as possible in order to deliver the lists to the national health authorities so that the presidents of the polling station and their alternates have the vaccine. In the next few hours, the day on which that process will begin will be confirmed, as well as the precise modification of the age range of those summoned, so as not to affect the older adult population, who face greater risks from COVID-19.

 Beyond that, the national government has already begun to design a protocol for voting day, which includes increasing the polling places from 15,000 to about 20,000, special hours so that the elderly have priority at the time of issuing the vote. suffrage, the obligation to maintain social distance, among others. Also, it increased the funds to be allocated to the elections, which were from about $ 18,000 million, to $ 19,400 million.

     On April 28, Wado de Pedro met with        members of the National Electoral Chamber

 Claim from civil society

In the last hours, a letter was released that was signed by more than 30 civil society organizations to ask Ministers De Pedro and Vizzotti to “decisively promote and, in a timely manner, the provision of a vaccination plan against COVID-19 for the persons who are designated to fulfill the high honor of being Officers of the Table in this year's elections ”.

 “Without a doubt, these appointments make them essential citizens for our democratic life. Two hundred thousand people who will have to fulfill a non-delegable role in the next elections to be held in times of pandemic ”, establishes the letter addressed to both ministers and which adheres to and supports what is requested by the National Electoral Chamber from the same officials. Among others, the letter had the endorsement of the Ser Fiscal Network, CIPPEC, Citizen Power, Argentine Political Club, the Christian Association of Business Leaders (ACDE), Conscience and the Clean Sheet Movement.

For Justice, the table authorities should receive the vaccines before the STEP. (Reuters photo)

“Since the National Government is the one who proportionally distributes the vaccines in the national territory and who has defined the vaccination priorities, and together with the provinces, it is up to the authorities of the Ministries of the Interior and Health to ensure that this happens, to win in reliability and transparency in this important step in the electoral organization ”, affirmed Claudio Bargach, national coordinator of the Ser Fiscal Network.

 With the anticipated call, in Justice they hope that the vaccination will be effective.


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