Election workers at the polling stations will be following the COVID-19 protocols given by the COVID-19 Monitoring Unit “to the letter”.
Chairman of the Electoral and Boundaries Commission (EBC), Leslie Haynes, gave this assurance today during a press conference, as he addressed a number of matters ahead of polling day in Barbados on Wednesday January 19.
Mr. Haynes disclosed that officials from the COVID-19 Monitoring Unit would be on standby for advice, in case any unusual circumstances arose.
In outlining what will obtain at the polling stations, he said: “The election workers will be wearing masks and face shields. The Poll Clerk will not be taking the ID card 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.”
The Chairman urged voters to follow the guidance and instructions of the COVID-19 election workers and maintain the three-feet social distance while at the polling station.
He again encouraged voters who do not have to go to work to visit the polling station between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., so as to allow working people who cannot go in their lunch hour, to vote early morning or after work in the evening.
If this is done, he explained, there would be a “steady flow rather than lulls and heavy periods of voting. “… 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 workday,” Mr. Haynes said.