April 16, 2024

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Have you been an assistant twice?  So you can apply for exemption from 2024|  internal

Have you been an assistant twice? So you can apply for exemption from 2024| internal

Have you been twice resident in an electoral office? Then you can apply for an exemption from 2024. This was approved yesterday by the House Committee on the Constitution.

A sick note submitted weeks in advance or a sudden business trip abroad: The craziest excuses are often concocted to avoid having to show up on Election Day. But there are also people who have to come in after the election to sit at polling stations or count. That will change from the Flemish, federal and European elections in May 2024. From then on, the government will keep track of who has already been assessed. Anyone who has done this twice in the future can request a waiver with a third (or fourth, fifth, or…) call.

Enthusiasts are still welcome

However, this waiver will not happen automatically: people will still be able to contact more than twice and can then decide to say no. “A lot of people, like young retirees, like to do this,” says Jasper Belin (Open Vld) Member of Parliament. “It would be a shame to deny them this opportunity, because they have so much experience that we don’t want to lose.” To be clear: You can only apply for this exemption if you have taken the assessment twice after 2024. If you have attended (more than) twice in the past, this will not count yet. This is because there must be a legal basis for holding this data, otherwise competent services would be flooded with evidence from people who would ask for exemption anyway. The exemption does not apply to chairmen of electoral commissions and civil servants.

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Currently, this approved arrangement only applies to Flemish, federal and European elections – which fall on a single day in May 2024. The federal states are responsible for local and regional elections. “But Flemish Interior Minister Bart Sommers (Open Vld) also supports this and will take the necessary initiatives to introduce this scheme there as well,” confirms MP Maggie de Block (Open Vld).

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Enthusiastic residents of the electoral office in Schotten (2010) © De Scherder