The Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) is reporting that the staff and polling station material are in place for Election Day Workers and members of the police and military forces to cast their vote on Monday, August 31 from 8:00a.m. to 4:00p.m. Preparations have been made to accommodate voting for the 46,777 special services electors ahead of the September 3 General Election. This group comprises 11,512 police officers, 4,181 soldiers and 31,084 Election Day Workers.
Under the Representation of the People Act, provisions are made for these electors to vote three days before the rest of the population, to ensure that they are available for duty on Election Day. Election Day Workers, military and police personnel who do not vote on Monday, August 31 will not be able to do so on September 3. This is because their names have been extracted from the Voters’ List to accommodate the August 31 voting, and therefore will not be on the civilian list used on September 3.
The EOJ has set up 215 designated locations to faciliate voting on the day. The locations and polling stations have been allocated as follows:
· 8 polling locations (32 polling stations) for military voting;
· 21 polling locations (78 polling stations) for the police; and
· 186 polling locations (267 polling stations) for Election Day Workers.
The list of polling locations include schools, churches, police stations, court houses, community centres, EOJ offices and military bases.
Police and military personnel have been assigned to vote at the voting lcoation closest to where they are based or stationed. The ballots will later be sorted and transferred to the respective Returing Officers to be counted on September 3.
The EOJ worked closely with the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Jamaica Defence Force to ensure that the lists for the police and military electors were prepared in time. Election Day Workers have been notified of their voting day through phone calls, text messages, and via the media.
Election Day Workers, police and military electors are being reminded to wear a mask covering their nose and mouth to the polling station and to follow the instructions of electoral officials regarding COVID-19 safety protocols.