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Oct 5, 2020

Kindly Exercise Patience while Voting

Josephine Tamai

Like other countries in the Caribbean, Belize is holding a national vote amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  According to Tamai, her office has been in touch with regional counterparts to look at ways in which Belize can adopt some of the measures that were implemented on Election Day in those jurisdictions.  The primary concern, says the Chief Elections Officer, is the delay in voting lines.


Josephine Tamai, Chief Elections Officer

“One of the things that we have learned, we know that the voter turnout in many of those countries have been low and again because of the fear.  And that is why now we want to ensure that we put measures in place and we want to ensure that we lower the number of persons in each of the polling stations because we know that the waiting has been long.  That is one of the complaints that has been happening in many of the other countries, so we‘re trying to see how we could minimize those areas.  We can‘t say that persons won‘t be waiting because we know that the process will take us a little bit longer and again, we know that we have put in place for the disabled, the elderly and also for pregnant women for them to be given priority when it comes to going to the polling stations because we want for those persons especially to quickly cast their ballots.  I know that some people are saying, “Won‘t that hold up the lines?”  But as we all know in Belize, we normally have two polling booths in a polling station, so it‘s not to say that the two booths or the two areas will be assigned specifically for those persons.  So one line will be moving very quickly, while the other line may be moving a little bit slower because for some reason we know, and all of us will get elderly at some point in time, it takes a little bit longer so we just ask persons to be patient while they’re waiting.”

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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