The Electoral and Boundaries Commission (EBC) has assured the public that all COVID-19 protocols will be observed on polling day. At a news conference on Monday, Chairman of the EBC Leslie Haynes Q.C. outlined the measures that will be in place to ensure the safety of voters.
“The election workers will be wearing masks and face shields. The poll clerk will not be taking ID cards from voters but will instead request the voter to show the front and back of the card. However, the poll clerk and presiding officer will sanitise their hands after any contact with the voter.
“Voters will be required to wear masks, have their temperature taken and have their hands sanitised immediately before going into the polling station. In addition, the polling booth will be sanitised after each voter and there are large numbers of new pencils at each polling station, but if at all pencils have to be reused, they will be sanitised,” Leslie Haynes said.
He appealed to voters to follow the guidance and instruction of the COVID-19 election workers and to maintain the three-foot social distance whilst at the polling station.
“We wish to encourage voters who do not have to go to work to go to the polling station between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., and allow those who have to go to work and can’t attend the polling station in their lunch hour to visit the polling station in the early morning and after work in the evening so that we have a steady flow rather than lulls and heavy periods of voting.
“Similarly, we anticipate that the COVID-19 requirements may slow the voting process a bit, and therefore we are requesting and encouraging employers to be lenient with employees who attend the poll during the work day,” Haynes stated.
The EBC chairman added that, as is customary, anyone who is still in line at 6 p.m. will be allowed to cast their ballot.
Haynes told the media that the Commission is prepared to deal with the possibility of individuals who have high temperatures at the polling stations.
Strict COVID-19 protocols on Election Day Barbados Today