The Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) says it is almost fully prepared for the September 3 general elections.
In a statement, the EOJ said that it met on Wednesday and “is declaring a level of 98 per cent readiness for the holding of Special Service General Election on Monday, August 31, 2020, and Civilian General Election on September 3, 2020.
“The ECJ is advising the public that it is confident of managing the upcoming General Election guided by established protocols derived from World Health Organization (WHO) COVID -19 Protocol /Standards, as well as outcome of meetings held with the Ministry of Health and Wellness, as well as the Attorney General’s Office.”
The two main political parties – the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the main opposition People’s National Party (PNP) have both announced plans to curb on the traditional campaigning in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed 19 people and infected 1,732 others here.
In its statement, the EOJ said that to ensure the safety of the electorate, it has established a COVID 19 Protocol for Conducting National Election which will result in the deployment of 7,400 sanitation officers dedicated to keep the voting process sanitized across the 2,200 polling station locations.
“The established protocols will see the use of mandatory thermometer checks, wearing of masks, continuous sanitization procedures, social distancing and the single use of voting pencils by electors,” the EOJ said, adding that it is committed to “ensuring a free, fair and safe General Election 2020”.
In the last general election in 2016, the JLP won 33 of the 65 seats in the Parliament, but increased that margin when it won two by-elections.