With the continuing COVID-19 crisis, one of the biggest concerns emerging is voting. This has become an increasingly looming issue in various locations around the world. Large gatherings for in-person voting could prove to be catastrophic.

Many officials see voting by mail as an easy solution. In theory, people would have to make a difficult choice. Between exercising their democratic rights and risking the safety of themselves and others. Among the countries that have been having this debate is Poland, which led to a bizarre election day in the nation.

The presidential election that wasn't

The first round of Poland's 2020 presidential election was scheduled to take place on May 10.

And technically, it still did. However, no polling places were open, and no votes were cast.

How to proceed with the vote had been a hot topic of discussion in Poland. Ultimately, the government proposed a plan that involved the voting being done entirely by mail. However, the specifics of the plan apparently proved too controversial for the policy to be finalized in time. According to Euronews, divisions were clear amongst the three-party ruling coalition of Poland's parliament.

The ensuing result was a strange one. Legally, round one of the Polish presidential election of 2020 went underway on May 10. But obviously, the results, or lack thereof, couldn't seriously be considered legitimate.

To a certain extent, at least, what happens next is clear.

The Supreme Court of Poland is expected to annul the so-called results from May 10. Elzbieta Witek, speaker of the Sejm, the lower house of the parliament, would then set a new election date. Voting for that election would be all mail-in.

Incumbent Duda is favored to win re-election

Poland's presidential elections are typically conducted over two rounds. If one candidate receives an absolute majority of votes in the initial round of voting, they're declared the winner. However, there tend to be so many candidates splitting the vote that an absolute majority becomes highly unlikely.

In that case, the second round of voting is held. In that round, only the top two vote-getters from the previous round are eligible. Whoever comes out on top in the second round wins the election.

Politico indicates that incumbent President Andrzej Duda has had a commanding lead in opinion polls. Duda was elected in 2015 as a member of Prawa i Sprawiedliwosc (Law and Order). As is the custom, he became an Independent upon his election as president. His previous political offices include serving as a member of the European Parliament, the Sejm, and the Krakow City Council. The Law and Order party is supporting his re-election.

Recent polls have shown his closest challenger in a distant second is Szymon Holownia.

An Independent, Holownia is a high-profile journalist in Poland. Other contenders include Malgorzata Kidawa-Blonska of the Platforma Obywatelska (Civic Platform) party.

Kidawa-Blonska is a former speaker of the Sejm. Another is Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz of the Polish People's Party, or Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe. Kosiniak-Kamysz was minister of labour and social policy under Prime Ministers Donald Tusk and Ewa Kopacz.

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