COVID-19 affected Barbadians will not be permitted to vote on January 19: Chapman

Barbados authorities will not permit the citizens who have been diagnosed with the COVID-19 viral infection to cast their right to vote in the general election

COVID
Barbadians are not permitted to vote in general elections

Barbados authorities will not permit the citizens who have been diagnosed with the COVID-19 viral infection to cast their right to vote in the general election, which will be held on January 19, 2021.

Head of the COVID-19 Monitoring Unit, Ronald Chapman, announced the decision while speaking during the press conference hosted by the Electoral and Boundaries Commission (EBC) on Saturday morning.

Chapman added,” to prevent anyone from exercising their rights felt like swallowing a hard pill. It is mandatory for everyone to be a part of the electoral process, but “we have to be our brother’s keeper”.

By urging infected people to remain in the quarantine, he asserted,” We know that voting is the eternal part of democracy; however, we are still suffering from a pandemic, and want critical people to remain in isolation and don’t go to a polling station. We are also asking people if they are feeling ill health, staying safe, please stay at home and stay safe”.

Chapman added that the polling station doesn’t consist of testing sites and isolation facilities, so isolate themselves if anyone feels ill.

He also mentioned that there would be no facilities such as mail-in ballots for quarantined people on polling stations; no quasi polling stations would be established at the polling booths.

By highlighting the danger of infectious diseases, he said, “The disease is highly contagious; both COVID-19 and its new variant Omicron are dangerous. Moreover, the new variant is more contagious than Delta. So, we want to balance these two and curtail the transmission of viral infection. To ensure the general public’s safety, we must follow these stringent protocols.

Meanwhile, Angela Taylor, a Supervisor of Elections, doesn’t speak anything over these newly made provisions for voters, asserted that EBC was always doing right.

“With the emergence of the COVID-19, I am sure that EBC will discuss this matter thoroughly, and we will discuss the matter of voting other than in-person voting, and we will watch what will be happened,” she asserted.

However, the opposition party (DLP) leader, President Verla De Peiza, accused Prime Minister Mia Mottley and said the government don’t care about anything.