The Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) and the Ministry of Health have agreed on a protocol for the General Election considering the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), said Director of Elections Glasspole Brown.

He explained: “We, the Electoral Office of Jamaica, and by extension the Electoral Commission of Jamaica, have signed off with the Ministry of Health on a COVID-19 elections protocol. What that protocol entails is that every elector is expected to come to the polling station wearing a mask. I urge all our electors to come and have a mask on, on Election Day. Your hands will be sanitised and then you will be ushered into the different polling stations.”

The General Election will be held on Thursday, September 3.

On the day before that, the ECJ will screen all Election Day workers as part of their COVID-19 protocols. Other protocols will be observed on Election Day to prevent the spread of the virus.

Brown said: “Throughout the course of the day, we will continually be sanitising the polling stations to ensure – as best as possible – everybody remains safe. There are a number of sanitation processes that we will be doing that will take place during the voting process. What it means is that, after you have cast your ballot, you will be required to sanitise your fingers again before you dip in the ink.

“However, I must alert all our electors that the ink that you will be asked to dip your finger in is an alcohol-based ink, and it has certain chemical features that prevent the transmission of any infections. So, therefore, as an additional safety measure, you are asked to re-sanitise your finger before you actually dip your finger,” the Director of Elections added.

He said the EOJ is confident that, with the aforementioned protocols in place, the voting process for each person will be completed within a reasonable time.

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By Mills