Tuesday 27 October, 2020

Electors with COVID-19 to be allowed to vote - OPM

iStock photo

iStock photo

Jamaicans who have tested positive for COVID-19 and who are in isolation will be allowed to vote, including in Monday’s special services election for Election Day workers and members of the police force and military.

The general populace will go to the polls on Thursday, September 3.

Those COVID-19 infected persons who decide to exercise their right to vote will only be allowed to do so between 4pm and 5pm and under strict guidelines including the mandatory wearing of a disposable gown.

The announcement was made in a statement from the Office of the Prime Minster (OPM) shortly after midnight.

See guidelines below:

1. Voter must notify the Health and Wellness Ministry before leaving isolation. Contact can be made at 888-ONE-LOVE (888-663-5683), 888-754-7792, 876-542-5998, or 876-542-6006;

2. Elector must wear a mask fitted to cover the nose and mouth, a face shield, gloves and a disposable gown while out of isolation, except as otherwise directed by an election officer.

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3. As far as is reasonably practicable, for the duration of the time when the person is out of isolation, he/she must maintain social distancing of six feet from other persons.

4. The voter must travel to and from a polling station in private transportation in which:

a) there are no other persons except for the driver, who shall wear a mask fitted to cover the driver’s nose and mouth.

b) the windows of the vehicle must remain open and the air conditioning switched off.

5) The voter must wash or sanitise hands before leaving the place of isolation and before and after entering the transportation.

6) The voter must maintain the maximum practicable social distance from the driver in the vehicle and

7) The voter must comply with all the protocols at the polling station.

The decision to allow COVID-19 infected persons to vote puts to rest speculation about whether such persons who desire to vote, would have been allowed to exercise their constitutional right. Experts on the constitution and human rights lawyers had warned that the government could be hit with lawsuits if it barred persons infected with COVID-19 from participating in the electoral process.

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