The PRD commissioner said the department. work to resolve advance polling station issues by September 16 – Eye Witness News


Just over 19,000 people registered for advance polls, 194,524 people on all electoral lists

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Parliamentary Enrollment Department is expected to strengthen its protocols and issue a provision for voting in the September 16 general election, after a myriad of challenges arose in Thursday’s advance poll.

Chaos erupted in several of the offices, there was little or no adherence to COVID-19 social distancing protocols in many offices, no marking or indication of appropriate protocols, disorganization and limited rooms at polling stations for that voters could vote, which resulted in the bottleneck.

While this was the first time that people 65 or older were allowed to vote in the first ballots, many voters expressed frustration over the lack of arrangements to accommodate the elderly and disabled.

Acting Parliamentary Committee Lavado Duncanson said Eyewitness News that the day’s unfolding autopsy is still ongoing, with plans to make much-needed improvements.

He noted that among the observations made, most people show up earlier in the day to vote.

“We intend to strengthen our measures by the 16th [and] improved, so that the bodies are in place from the start so that we can make sure that we minimize or prevent a repeat of what would have happened in advance polling, especially with regard to social distancing, ”a he declared.

Duncanson said the PRD intends to minimize the number of people who can be accommodated at polling stations and ensure that entrance disinfection and mask wear are observed.

He noted that the PRD also intends to put in place measures to accommodate elderly and disabled people who may not have voted on Thursday and can show up on election day.

The parliamentary commissioner said the PRD intended to release a cohesive video to the public by Monday at the latest, outlining the proper voting procedures.

Voters exposed to COVID

The large gathering of crowds also rekindled concerns about the possibility of a spread of COVID-19 infections amid a continued increase in the country and confirmation of the Delta variant as the predominant strain of the virus in the country. .

A constant concern in the run-up to the election has been the COVID-19 procedures for the election and whether quarantined voters and those with COVID-19 will be allowed to vote.

Health Minister Renward Wells suggested Thursday that the government could follow similar guidelines used by the United States in its November 2020 election to welcome voters who are quarantined and COVID-positive at the polls.

He noted that authorities still do not know how many people may be in quarantine or in isolation at this time.

However, Duncanson was unable to say what the ruling will be with regard to these voters, insisting that the PRD will continue to conduct the general elections in accordance with the Parliamentary Elections Act.

“We were heavily engaged yesterday with the advance polls and so one thing we will do is in our post mortem we need to have a meeting with the relevant agencies so that we can make sure that all the steps that need to take place are clear. included among the various agencies participating in this effort, ”he said.

He added that a meeting is scheduled for Monday with all stakeholders to finalize these issues.

A total of 194,524 voters are on the official voters list for the 2021 general election. There are 134,108 registered voters in New Providence; 31,028 in Grand Bahama; and 29,388 on family islands.

Just over 19,000 people have registered for the advance poll.

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