Czech politicians: US mail-in voting 'unimaginable' for Czech Republic

Czech politicians weigh-in on US voting system.


Written by ČTK Published on 09.11.2020 09:56:00 (updated on 09.11.2020) Reading time: 3 minutes

Prague, Nov 8 (CTK) - As the world watched who will become the next U.S. president, in the end, Democrat Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 election came down to mail-in ballots.

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, some Czech political parties called for the introduction of mail-in voting before the October regional and Senate elections here in the Czech Republic. After the outcome of the US elections, a few Czech politicians weighed in on the difficulties with this type of voting and if such a system could work here in the Czech Republic.

Opposition Civic Democrat (ODS) chairman Petr Fiala said on social media that new forms of voting pose a risk, since the trust of people as well as accepting defeat as legal and legitimate are important for democracy. He warned of adopting new forms of voting in the Czech Republic.

Anti-EU far-right Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) chairman Tomio Okamura said mail-in voting cannot be introduced in the Czech Republic. He told Prima TV that in the US, it was not possible to identify, for instance, who had sent the ballot.

"This is a strong warning for us against introducing mail-in voting," Okamura said, referring to the effort of TOP 09 and other parties to introduce this form of voting in the Czech Republic. In view of the disputes about the course of the US election, Okamura said he would like to wait with accepting the new US president until the result is final.

In reaction to fears of possible discrepancies, American officials assert that ballots are only sent to voters who have properly registered. Each voter receives an envelope which includes the voter's signature which is then compared with their original registration. It was this procedure that was one of the causes of the lengthy process in counting the votes.

Chamber of Deputies chairman Radek Vondracek (ANO) said he considered the U.S. presidential election result conclusive. However, in his opinion, it is unacceptable and unimaginable if votes in the Czech Republic were treated in the same way as in the U.S., he told Prima TV. "The verification level is low," he said.

"It is an important test of democracy whether the loser is able to accept the results and hand over the office to the winner in a dignified manner," Senate Chairman Milos Vystrcil (ODS) commented on Twitter, where he also congratulated Biden and the vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris on their victory.

"The U.S. and the Czech Republic share the same values and I believe that we will be able to promote them together through Transatlantic cooperation," Vystrcil said.


Fiala also congratulated Biden on his victory on Twitter, adding that the U.S. is playing a key role in the security of Europe and the defense of democracy and freedom in the world.

Fiala noted that Biden's rival, incumbent President Donald Trump had lost the fight with himself. "He managed to mobilize his voters, but also his opponents. Trump's problematic personality negatively overtrumped the successful conservative agenda," Fiala said.

Trump's populist and hateful narcissism caused the difference between victory and defeat in the divided American society, he added. "The USA is fighting mistrust with the mail-in system, strengthened by different laws in particular states, which affects counting and a delay the announcement of the result," Fiala wrote in reaction to the U.S. election for the Forum 24 Internet daily.

Mail-in voting has existed in the US for decades and millions of Americans also used it in the 2016 election.

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