Can Covid positives vote? The question is simple, the answer is not so simple: between Viminale circulars and prefectures and municipalities, which have moved in no particular order, tens of thousands of people tomorrow risk not being able to exercise their right / duty to vote. In the first political elections since the outbreak of the pandemic, with infections on the rise, the government’s intention was not to exclude the positives from the electoral appointment.
“Can Covid-19 positive voters who are subjected to home treatment or in isolation at home be able to vote?” is the question in Faq number 25 published on the page of the Ministry of the Interior website dedicated to political elections. ” Yes ” is the answer. But is it really so? The positives – explains the Interior Ministry – “can vote at the Municipality of residence, by sending to the mayor of the Municipality in whose lists they are registered, in a period between the 10th and the 5th day preceding that of the vote, a declaration certifying the willingness to vote at home “and” a certificate attesting to undergoing home treatment or the condition of isolation for Covid-19 “.
The circulars of the prefectures follow the provisions of the Ministry of the Interior, thus setting the deadline for the request for a home vote to be five days before the elections. And the 87,067 people who tested positive after September 20? This is the case of Mrs. Rosetta Cannistrà, a 55-year-old resident of Milan, together with her son, a 27-year-old voter, also positive for Covid. “The GP prescribed the tampon for me. I did it on Tuesday and found out about my positivity late Tuesday evening. On Wednesday morning – he tells beraking latest news – I called the Municipality to ask for information on the vote. An operator answered me and after a bit of waiting, she told me that Covid patients cannot vote “.
The lady, however, did not give up: “I was disappointed, this thing just did not suit me, because I have always voted for politics”. At that point – and we’re on Thursday – Rosetta tried social media. Under a tweet from the Municipality of Milan dedicated to the elections, you commented: “For those who are positive about Covid, however, do not give us the opportunity to vote”. Then Ms. Cannistrà called the municipal offices again: “They gave me another phone number and an e-mail address, explaining, however, that I had to have the Ats isolation certificate.” And here is the second problem, because “the certificate is only available from today, but at this point it is useless, because it is too late”.
The Municipality of Milan – according to beraking latest news – has in fact closed the deadline for the request for a home vote at 12 noon on Saturday 24 September, thus going well beyond the deadline set by the Interior Ministry. An extension, however, not publicized, so much so that in the end there will be about ten positive Milanese voters at Covid who will benefit from the vote from home (out of almost 1,200 infections registered in the capital in just three days, between Wednesday and Friday, according to the bulletins of the Region ). Other Italian municipalities have chosen a different path. For example, Antonella D’Angeli, a Covid-positive citizen of Anagni and candidate with Sovereign and Popular Italy, will see her right to vote guaranteed. On the website of the Municipality of Anagni it is announced that requests received via email will be “taken into consideration” until 4 pm on 25 September. However, the exponent of Marco Rizzo’s list points the finger at ministerial directives, “confused and not easy to understand” in his opinion: “I will vote at home – he tells beraking latest news – after making a request to the ASL of Frosinone. I redid the tampon this morning. I wrote to the ASL sending the result and the doctor certified me that I can vote at home. Tomorrow they will come home and let me vote ». The problem, explains D’Angeli, “is that you have to know. They haven’t done a clear communication campaign on this thing. You must have the IT tools and I don’t know if an elderly person can see their right guaranteed. Unfortunately, each municipality and each local health authority decides on its own ».
The Interior Ministry also confirms that the management of the positive vote is entrusted to the organization of the individual Municipalities. On the vote of Covid-19 positives subject to medical treatment or in home isolation, the undersecretary of the Interior Carlo Sibilia told beraking latest news, «it should be emphasized that in article 4 of legislative decree no. 41/2022 it is indicated that in order to exercise the right to vote at home, the deadline is set within the fifth day prior to the vote “. However, it is a term «to be understood as ordinatory and not peremptory», which implies «that even those who request a vote after that deadline can apply for it to the Municipality in whose electoral lists they are registered. The Municipality may eventually organize the collection of the vote compatibly with organizational needs “.
In summary: each municipality regulates itself in its own way. “Having said this, I obviously hope that the Municipalities succeed with the means at their disposal and do everything possible to ensure that these subjects also exercise a constitutionally guaranteed right, as well as a civic duty,” he adds. But the ‘patchy’ organization of the positive vote in this climate of indeterminacy risks producing ‘do-it-yourself’ solutions. M5S MP Federica Daga raises the alarm to beraking latest news, arguing that several positive people she knows, unable to vote, would still be willing to assert their right: “I know of someone who has contracted Covid a few days ago, not I exclude that they may seek alternative solutions in order to cast their vote ». The pentastellata also highlights the discomfort of non-resident students: «The case of non-resident students remains the most numerous from what I see, discussing with some of them I gathered a feeling of resentment towards this policy, because it does not guarantee them the right to vote. These students have an exam session until the end of the month… ».