Officials from the Electoral and Boundaries Commission (EBC) addressed the media on January 1, 2022.
Chief Electoral Officer Angela Taylor
Elections preparations are on point.
We started preparing two years after the last one.
Election clerks and officers have been published and they are being trained today.
We are ready for Nomination Day.
Bags are being packed with all of the information the candidates will need.
The list of nomination centres has also been published.
The only difference between this and others is that we are in a COVID-19 situation and have taken measures to ensure we are in compliance with the protocols.
The COVID Monitoring Unit has produced a document for every interaction during the election.
A separate team has been set up for COVID matters to take temperatures, sanitise hands, sanitise the polling booths after voting and police the lines.
We have made every provision to ensure the COVID-19 protocols are complied with.
There will be 541 polling stations.
We encourage people to use lunch hours, so there is more voting during the day. This would reduce the numbers in the morning and the evening.
Those who have to work are being encouraged to come out during the day and leave the evening and morning periods for those who are going to work.
Special provisions will be put in place for the elderly.
If you are in the line by 6 p.m. you will be allowed to vote.
The length of time it takes to vote will determine the time that election results are given.
Ronald Chapman, head of the COVID Monitoring Unit.
People who test positive for COVID-19. Those in home isolation are asked to stay at home.
Those at Harrison Point facility or any facility are require to stay there.
We understand that voting is the cornerstone of our democracy, but those persons are still highly infectious.
We are asking persons if they are feeling ill to stay at home.
If you are COVID-19 positive you will not be allowed to vote in this election.
Those who may not recognise they are ill or may be asymptomatic, there are protocols in place at the polling stations.
The isolation facilities are an extension of hospitals and people in hospital are not allowed to vote.
If you are in the line and present with symptoms, elevated temperature etc., you won’t be turned away from voting.
There won’t be any testing for COVID at the polling stations.
There will be physical distancing and temperature will be taken inside the station.
If the temperature is elevated, they will still be allowed to vote.
Once that person has voted, the area will be sanitised.
Officials in the polling station will be wearing personal protective equipment.
There are many people in Barbados who do not know they have COVID and go out in public, we stand behind them in lines. The procedure is the same.
The process will reduce risk, but allow people to vote.
Hal Gollop, lawyer and member of the EBC board
Our legislation does not contemplate less than in-person voting.
We have to take the decision that maintains the integrity of elections and reduce fraud.
We should refrain from making a statement on this before the legal advisor to the commission gives an opinion.
Leslie Haynes QC, chairman EBC
We are not saying that the law says people with COVID can’t vote.
We are asking people not to come out to vote for the benefit of the many.
There is no decree saying they cannot vote.
The candidate list has always been published.
It was previously published in the media, in the law and public libraries at the EBC and even in rum shops.
The amendment to the Representation of the People Act means it must be published electronically.
We have the balance the need to have a clean electoral list against certain things.
You come down in favour of the option that reduces the mischief.
The EBC is asking employers to give people extra time to vote.