ST. GEORGE NORTH, Barbados (Wednesday, November 4, 2020) — Strict COVID-19 protocols will be in place at all polling stations, next Wednesday, for the by-election in the constituency of St. George North.
Supervisor of Elections, Angela Taylor, has indicated that the election management team met with the Head of the COVID-19 Monitoring Unit, to be fully apprised of the protocols.
Additionally, members of the Unit have trained election workers, to ensure proficiency in doing temperature checks and to ensure compliance with the other protocols.
As part of the protocols in effect, voters, over 65, will be queued separately, wherever possible, and be allowed to vote ahead of others.
Additionally, officials are reminding all voters that the wearing of masks, temperature checks, hand sanitising and social distancing will be enforced, to ensure the safety of electors and election workers.
The public is, therefore, being urged to follow the instructions of the health and safety election workers at the polling stations.
Also employers are being urged that, on polling day for the by-election, they must allow every elector in their employ, who reside in that constituency, a reasonable period, of not less than one hour, for voting.
Employers are being urged not make any deductions from wages, salaries or any other remuneration, or impose upon the elector, any penalty, due to their absence for the period of voting.
According to the Election Offences and Controversies Act, any employer, who, directly or indirectly, refuses, or by intimidation, undue influence, or in any other way interferes with an elector’s right to vote, is liable, on summary conviction, to a fine of $500 or to imprisonment for six months.
Registered electors in the St. George North Constituency are reminded that they should take their identification card, when attending the polling stations, at which they are entitled to vote.
According to Elections Supervisor Taylor, identification cards may be used, even if they have been issued in excess of 10 years.
Taylor added that any elector, who lost, or misplaced his or her identification card, may present a valid passport or driving licence at the polling station.
She stressed, however, that any elector who does not have any of these documents is still entitled to vote and should attend the polling station.
The use of all communication devices, such as smart phones, smart watches and smart pens, is prohibited in the polling station on polling day.
The Supervisor of Elections said that all communication devices and all other personal effects must be left at the desk, before proceeding to the polling booth.
Taylor stated that voters must retrieve their personal effects, on the way out, after they have marked their ballot and completed voting.
She also reminded voters that on the day of the by-election, the polling booth would be positioned so each voter enters with his or her back to the Presiding Officer.
She explained that this would allow the Presiding Officer to see that voters are not using any concealed electronic communication devices.
Taylor gave the assurance that privacy and the secrecy of the vote would be maintained.
For more information on Election Offences, members of the public should call the Electoral and Boundaries Commission at 535-4800.