Italian parliamentarians with Covid-19 could be allowed to vote for Italy’s new president from a car park.
More than 1,000 MPs and regional delegates will start voting on Monday, and amid a debacle over who should be the next head of state, the coronavirus pandemic is posing logistical challenges.
Around 35 of the so-called ‘electors’ are in quarantine with Covid-19, and to ensure a fair election and quorum requirements are met, Roberto Fico, the speaker of the lower house, has suggested allowing them to vote in the parking lot of the Palace of Montecitorio, seat of the Chamber of Deputies.
The proposal will be discussed on Friday and will go ahead if the government grants voters a permit to leave their homes.
It’s unclear how ‘drive-in’ voting will work, but according to reports in the Italian press, voters could either vote from a stand set up in the car park or from their cars. They won’t be there to “watch a movie, order something to eat, or take a Covid test anyway,” writes Niccolò Carratelli in La Stampa. “We’ve never seen a drive-in polling station before.”
Meanwhile, Guido De Martini, a lawmaker from the far-right League party and rebel against Italy’s vaccination mandate, said he felt like “a panda on the verge of extinction” because he could not travel to Rome from his home in Sardinia without the ‘green super pass’ needed to prove double vaccination.
“I can’t get on a plane or a ferry without the super green pass,” De Martini told La Stampa. “I thought about booking a private plane, but it’s too expensive. My fight is a fight of principle, of freedom… I am not against vaccines, I am against compulsory vaccines.
He added that if there was a smaller stretch of sea between Sardinia and the mainland, he might have considered swimming. “I like running and cycling, but above all swimming in the sea. But the crossing from Sardinia would be too hard.