The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released a framework for the conduct of elections during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The elections at hand are the governorship polls in Edo and Ondo States holding on September the 19th and October the 10th this year.
Apart from the governorship polls, the electoral umpire has also fixed dates for the four postponed bye-elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Plateau States while other bye-elections due during the COVID-19 pandemic will be announced by the commission soon.
Part of the guidelines for voters will include the provision of infrared thermometers at collation centres, mandatory use of face masks, provision of face masks for all electoral officers, provision of alcohol based sanitizers at polling centres, disinfection of smart card readers after the fingerprint of each voter is read.
INEC says it will also ensure the enforcement of physical distancing while voluntary COVID-19 testing will be made available for INEC Staff.
On the part of the agency itself, INEC says it will evaluate of all electoral activities to conform with the COVID-19 guidelines, update and track performance over time, while also engaging stakeholders in strategic consultation
The policy framework is geared at enabling INEC officials officials to understand and respond adequately to the challenges of conducting elections in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A link to the policy framework can be gotten here.
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