(June 3, 2009) The Italian Parliament recently promulgated Law No. 46 of May 7, 2009, to allow voters to vote from home when affected by an illness that makes it impossible for them to leave the house. The Law amends article 1 of Decree-Law No. 1 of January 3, 2006 (as amended).
The newly amended law states that voters affected by very serious illness, to such a degree that separation from the house where they live is impossible, even with the assistance of special services, and those who are in a state of “continuous and vital dependence” on electro-medical devices that similarly prevents leaving the home, are allowed to vote from their residences. For this purpose, they have to submit these documents to the mayor of their registered place of residence, within a period of 20 to 40 days before the election:
a) a declaration expressing their wish to vote from their residence, listing the complete home address; and
b) a certificate from a medical officer appointed by the competent local health department agency, witnessing the existence of the conditions of the illness in question.
Any medical officer who signs such a certificate when there is no medical necessity for the voter to remain at home will be suspended from service, by order of the local health department, for a period of three months for each false certificate, not to exceed nine months. (Modifiche all'articolo 1 del decreto-legge 3 gennaio 2006, n. 1, convertito, con modificazioni, dalla legge 27 gennaio 2006, n. 22, in materia di ammissione al voto domiciliare di elettori affetti da infirmita che ne rendano impossibile l'allontanamento dall'abitazione, 105 GAZZETTA UFFICIALE (May 8, 2009), available at http://www.senato.it/parlam/leggi/09046l.htm.)