Jamaica prepares for September 3 vote amid covid-19

Glasspole Brown

The Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) is all set to receive nominations of candidates for the September 3 General Parliamentary Elections.

“The necessary arrangements for Nomination Day have been completed. All nomination documents and supplies have been delivered to the constituencies and Returning Officers are ready to accept nominations,” said Glasspole Brown, Director of Elections

Brown is expecting the day’s activities to flow smoothly. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, physical distancing protocols and other safety measures will be observed across all nomination centres.

“I urge all persons involved in the nomination process to remember to wear a mask to the nomination location. The temperatures of all persons entering the location will be checked and their hands will be sanitized. The security forces will be assisting us with managing the number of persons entering the compound as we seek to adhere to the COVID-19 health and safety protocols,” added Brown.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness said that all political parties have committed to ensuring that supporters follow the safety health protocols to prevent and minimise the spread of COVID-19.

“We have agreed that as leaders of the country, we will be scrupulous in following the rules, that we will be consistent and firm in ensuring that… how we organise the activities for the day is consistent with the agreement and measures recommended by the Ministry of Health, which both parties would have agreed to and was published by the political ombudsmen.”

Campaign activities are being restrained due to a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases.

The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has instructed their prospective candidates to not conduct street marches during today’s nomination.

“Prospective candidates have been told that they should not have more than 20 supporters accompany them when they show up to be nominated and that their motorcades should not descend on the nomination centres,” said Kamina Johnson Smith, JLP’s campaign spokesperson.

Street marches and motorcades overflowing with party supporters, decked out in their colours, have long been a feature of the nomination day process.