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Sunday, September 27, 2020

Trinidad Elections: Voting in a time of COVID-19 “Today”

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(Trinidad Express) A pandemic poll.

A total of 1,134,136 electors are eligible to vote in today’s general election at 2,210 polling stations in 41 constituencies.

How they exercise their franchise will decide who will receive the mandate to govern Trinidad and Tobago for the next five years.

This election campaign has been unique because of the existence of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In fact, voters would be strongly encouraged to wear masks at the polling stations, with the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) going as far as the provision of masks to those who are not in possession of one.

The pandemic has created a new style of campaigning where the public meetings have been virtual, making it difficult to assess the mood of the electorate, whose feelings in the past used to be gauged from their attendance at meetings and their spontaneous responses to the various platforms.

Election night contrasts

In keeping with the Ministry of Health Covid regulations against mass gatherings, the People’s National Movement (PNM) has issued to its membership the following statement: “Dear members, the PNM takes this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for your commitment and tireless service over the past several weeks on the campaign trail. As you are aware, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, prevailing health regulations prevent mass gatherings across the country. In this regard, please be advised that there will be no mass congregation at Balisier House on the night of Monday 10th August.

You are encouraged to host several small viewing parties at various locations throughout your constituencies. You will be notified of the social media platforms that you can follow to get our official results count. Thank you for your kind cooperation….Remember on Monday to make the right choice…”, Cynthia Joseph, Secretariat, Balisier House”.

However, the United National Congress (UNC) has made no change in its usual election night arrangements.

Wade Mark told the Express that party members and supporters are invited to assemble at Couva South Complex (The party had moved out of Rienzi Complex some time ago).

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