The Jamaica Umbrella Group of Churches (JUGC) is calling on the Electoral of Jamaica (EOJ) to extend the voting hours for September 3, expressing concern about the length of time it will take to process each electorate in observance of protocols established by the Ministry of Health and Wellness due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The JUGC is suggesting that the EOJ allows voting to run for an additional one hour from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm, and not end at 5:00 pm as scheduled.
The organisation is also asking that priority treatment be given to all senior citizens and persons with disability.
“All Jamaicans should be concerned at the recent upsurge in COVID-19 cases, and confirmed deaths. We believe very firmly that this is one of the pivotal moments when every one of us, as citizens of Jamaica, need to follow the prescribed protocols set out by the Ministry of Health and Wellness.
“What is needed more than ever during this week is very strict enforcement of the law and fines, related to the wearing of masks, social (physical) distancing and sanitising of hands,” said JUGC.
It is also calling on the citizens to vote “as it is our obligation to do so, and because our democracy depends on it. We ask that voters in exercising their right do so in a responsible way and follow the strict guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Wellness.
“We call upon the leaders of both political parties to instruct their supporters to refrain from any form of violent confrontation, so that we may have a peaceful election.”