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Sep 30, 2020

COVID Elections and its Process

The Prime Minister is holding the date of elections close to his heart; but he has to announce the date four weeks before the elections are held. He has already said elections are to be held in the first part of November.  The day will also likely be a public and bank holiday to allow persons to go to polls and cast their vote during a pandemic. Today, we asked Doctor Manzanero about those COVID-19 positive patients who want to exercise their right to vote. Manzanero says that the Elections and Boundaries Commission has been monitoring what has been happening in countries such as Jamaica, Trinidad and Guyana where elections have been held during the pandemic. Manzanero says there are concerns.


On the Phone: Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“Actually, that has been worked on and looked on. I believe we have been in discussions with Elections and Boundaries maybe for the last two months. Understand that we are following protocols as other countries have gone through; I believe the last country was Jamaica. But I think it is ten CARICOM countries that are going for elections this year so you can look at their protocols see what they did, learn from that and tweak it so that you make sure that you can, at the end of the day, to avoid further spread. From my vantage point at the Ministry of Health, unless you are visibly ill, I think mechanism can be set in place to be allowed for people to exercise that right. If you are going to go and specifically just go vote, as I said, provisions will be made and you will just be basically be casting your ballot and be coming out. We had made other recommendations, broader recommendations, to the Elections and Boundaries because we are concern and your question is specifically about the ones that are positive, but what about all the asymptomatics and the ones that are negative that you don’t know? So I think you need provisions for ensuring that there are minimal amount of people in the polling booths, that you have the adequate mechanism so that discussion is ongoing with Elections and Boundaries.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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