Saturday 31 October, 2020

Election 2020: ECJ reports 16 per cent voter turnout up to 11am

Electors show their fingers after voting at St Peter and Paul Preparatory School in Eastern St Andrew.

Electors show their fingers after voting at St Peter and Paul Preparatory School in Eastern St Andrew.

The Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) is reporting that just 16 per cent of the 1.9 million eligible electors on the Voters’ List had cast a ballot up to 11am, a full four hours after the polls opened for Jamaica’s 18th parliamentary elections since the granting of universal adult suffrage in 1944.

At the current pace, the country is on schedule to record its lowest ever voter turnout which stands at just under 48 per cent for the 2016 general elections.

Of note is that, in 2016, the voter turnout was similar at the half-way mark at 16.96 per cent.

However, with the 2020 polls being conducted in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic it is unknown whether electors will stay away from the polls during the usually busy last hour between 4pm and 5pm when COVID-19 positive electors will be allowed to cast their ballots.

Individuals with the coronavirus must vote while adhering to strict health protocols developed by the Ministry of Health and Wellness. All COVID-19 positive persons who have decided to vote must wear a disposable gown to the polling station. They must also wear a mask and face shield and can only be transported to the polling station in a private motor vehicle.

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