With the COVID-19 pandemic, the public observed the stay at home order, and still keeping a “physical distancing” to fight against the infectious disease. Besides, our people have helped small businesses by ordering take-out, bought what we need when grocery shopping rather than hoarding what we want and wore a mask in public.
We can all make these sacrifices to keep ourselves and others safe. Meanwhile, volunteers and health workers still stand at the front lines, risking their own health and lives caring for the sick.
This COVID-19 crisis, which can be viewed as a prolonged war, is a great test of our stamina.
Another test will come to us later this year amidst COVID-19. It is the 2020 general elections which will be held later 2020.
Voting is a right that people have.
This year’s election will be different because of Covid-19 and a range of measures will be in place to help keep people safe in complying with the health guidelines.
These included queue management, physical distancing, hand sanitizers alongside ballot boxes and protective gear for people staffing voting stations.
It is worth noting that the Union Election Commission is planning to launch a mobile application in the election season to ensure that eligible voters check their names in the online voting list.
However, we need to discuss with experts from different sectors how to provide safety to the people during the election activities such as election campaigns and on the election day because the health guidelines did not cover the campaigns and rallies, all of which are likely to be significantly affected.
There will be over 40,000 polling stations nationwide for over 37 million eligible voters for the 2020 General Election.
With social distancing at all voting precincts, casting a ballot may take a little longer and may be inconvenient.
To overcome that challenge, advance voting and other convenience ways, particularly for the elderly and those with existing medical conditions, should be encouraged as we continue to practice social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when voters stand in line to cast their ballots.
The 2020 General Election will be of utmost importance, and the process by which it is decided must ensure the safety of the people.