Poland, after failing to carry out its planned election on May 10, joined France, the U.K., Italy and Russia in having to reschedule a vote due to the pandemic. In its second attempt to stage a presidential ballot, now slated for June 28, the Polish government is seeking to address concerns about democratic lapses which contributed to the postponement of the first attempt. Poland’s stumbling experience highlights some issues the U.S. may need to address as it approaches its own presidential election in November.
Poland will hold its first-ever hybrid ballot, with polling stations open for those who want to vote in person and the option for mail-in votes for those concerned about catching the virus or unable to leave quarantine. This follows an abandoned plan to hold the election only through an untested vote-by-mail process, which was criticized by the outgoing head of the Supreme Court and international monitors. The independent National Electoral Commission, with a track record of supervising unquestioned ballots for the last three decades, will also regain its leading role in the June poll after being sidelined by the government in preparations for the May ballot.