The renewal of the regional and departmental councils is planned this year. The polls should have taken place in March 2021. But the Covid-19 epidemic has forced the authorities to delay regional and departmental elections. Postponed for three months, they will therefore take place on Sunday June 13 and 20, 2021.
From the fall of 2020, the government wondered whether it was opportune to maintain these polls in March when the health crisis was far from being resolved. He then entrusted a reflection mission to Jean-Louis Debré. The former president of the Constitutional Council issued a report recommending a postponement of the polls in June and his opinion was followed.
Regional and departmental elections 2021. What health measures in the face of Covid-19?
Elections 2021. The Covid-19 crisis, an opportunity to modernize the vote?
Double proxy, pooled polling stations …
A bill governing the postponement of the 2021 departmental and regional elections has been put in place, according to an accelerated legislative procedure. Definitively adopted on February 16, this text provides, among other things, for the possibility of giving two proxies to the same voter (instead of one usually), so that a single person can chair the polling stations for both ballots (same thing for the secretary ) or that the State finances the masks and hydroalcoholic gel made available in case of need.
The duration of the campaign has also been extended by one week and candidates will have the right to exceed their budget by 20% due to the health crisis. The establishment of a free telephone number will also be authorized, on the initiative of the candidates, to allow voters to find out about their programs.
The government commits to the dates
Although the dates of the elections are not in the text of the bill, Marlène Schiappa, Minister for Citizenship, assured that the two election dates would take place on Sundays 13 and 20 June. “We will do everything to ensure that they take place in June”, she pledged to parliament.
Postponement of # Regional2021 : “There is no hidden government plan with regard to the calendar (…) It is indeed the month of June which is proposed to you for debate. Nothing is done without Parliament ”, assures @MarleneSchiappa to senators. # DirectSénat pic.twitter.com/i11MLdJ5ox
– Public Senate (@publicsenat) January 26, 2021
In the opposition, some feared that the government would further delay these two elections, judged a priori not in favor of the presidential majority.
Finally, the law provides that no later than 1is April 2021, the government submits a report from the scientific committee to parliament, “On the state of the Covid-19 epidemic, on the health risks to be taken into account and on the adaptations necessary for the holding of polls and electoral campaigns”.