Jamaica News: Director of Elections, Glasspole Brown, is reminding electors to bear in mind certain conditions laid out by the Representation of the People Act (ROPA) as they go to the polls on September 3.
Voters are being asked to be mindful of what they wear to the polling stations to cast their ballots.
“The ROPA requires the cessation of campaigning 24 hours before the polls open. It is normally seen if a person wears a [particular] T-shirt; it is campaigning, and that T-shirt that has the face or the mark of a candidate could lead to the influencing of another elector, and that is not allowed. Therefore, while we might allow the [party] colour, a shirt that has the marking or the photograph of a candidate… will not be allowed into the polling station,” he said.
Mr. Brown was speaking during a JIS Studio 58A interview on August 28, where he shared the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) level of readiness for the upcoming General Election.
Before Election Day, voters may confirm their polling stations through several means.
“We have roughly 70 offices across the island. So, you can go to those offices and they should be able to give you the information. You can go to our website and it will guide you in terms of where you can vote or you can telephone our call centre here at the Head Office and you should be able to get the information,” Mr. Brown said.
Individuals may call the EOJ at 1-888-991-VOTE (8683) or visit the website at www.ecj.com.jm.
One Election Day, persons are being reminded to take their Voter Identification cards to assist in the identification process.
“All the cards that every elector has in their possession are still valid. We extended the validation period up to the end of December this year and as such, in coming to the polling station on Election Day you are required to just walk with that ID card that you have. It lends itself to faster processing of the elector on that day,” Mr. Brown said.
“However, even though you may not be able to find your card or you don’t remember where you placed your ID card, you can still go to the polling station. The only difference is you will be required to take an oath before you vote,” he explained.
Mr. Brown also reminds persons with disabilities, particularly the blind, that the Representation of the People Act also makes provisions for them to cast their ballots.
“The ROPA allows for some assistance to be given there. For example, a blind person can do one of two things. They can allow the Presiding Officer to mark on their behalf but they have to do that in public, or the blind person can opt to bring a friend or relative to assist him or her,” he said.
All polling stations will open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 5:00 p.m. on September 3 and voters who make it to their respective polling stations up to 5:00 p.m. will be allowed to cast their ballots. Voters must wear a mask and be prepared to have their hands sanitised multiple times throughout the process.
Source: JIS News