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Oct 7, 2020

COVID-19 and the National Vote

Political parties are strategizing how to get voters out on election day.  But will persons who are in quarantine for COVID-19 be able to participate in the national vote on November eleventh? It’s a decision that ultimately falls on the Quarantine Authority of the Ministry of Health.  According to Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai, the Elections and Boundaries Department is following the regulations put forward by the Ministry of Health, however, it does not seem that those persons in quarantine or self-isolation will be prohibited from casting their votes on election day.

 

Josephine Tamai

Josephine Tamai, Chief Elections Officer

“From the Elections and Boundaries standpoint, we do not know those persons who are in quarantine.  We know that we‘ve been hearing from the Ministry of Health that persons are in quarantine at home and at different centers as well.  In terms of how people are quarantined, that is a matter for the Ministry of Health to determine and not necessarily for Elections and Boundaries.  But persons who turn up to the polling stations will be allowed to vote.  We all know that not because somebody is in quarantine even means that a person is positive and listening to the Director of Health Services we‘ve heard him saying that he believes that persons who are positive can vote as well, unless you‘re experiencing or you‘re having severe symptoms, that is the only time they don‘t recommend persons.  But like I mentioned, it is something that is not for Elections and Boundaries at this time because we don‘t have information on persons who are in quarantine.  As long as the Quarantine Authority determines the movement of those persons, those persons will be able to go to the polling stations if that is that is a part of the law or if that is required or if that is acceptable on election day then we are going to ensure that we attend to those persons.”


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