COVID fears deter elderly electors in St Catherine NW

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COVID fears deter elderly electors in St Catherine NW

Thursday, September 03, 2020

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ST CATHERINE, Jamaica — Voting was at a trickle at polling divisions across the St Catherine North West constituency this morning.

Early voters in Bambury started lining up in social-distancing fashion minutes are 7:00 am.

Sanitation workers were observed doing temperature checks and sanitising people entering the polling station.

Liaison officers who spoke with OBSERVER ONLINE reported low voter turnout among the elderly, citing COVID-19 fear as a driving factor.

PNP liaison officer in Bambury, Karen Johnson said runners experienced challenges getting older people to come out and vote.

“Persons have expressed a lot of fear, even with our own workers. We had workers who we had to coax to come out.

“We are using whatever means we have been trying to influence them and explain to them that we have sanitisers; we have extra masks for them and we just trying our best to get them out,” said Johnson

Danze Robinson, one elderly man who spoke with OBSERVER ONLINE, said he was not deterred by COVID-19.

“PNP do a lot of good for us in our district: wi water, wi light, PNP do that. That's why I'm voting.

The elderly man complained of higher prices on goods.

“When the PNP in power the things them never so dare [expensive]. Everything dare now,” said Johnson.

First-time voter Kimini Rowe, 20, was vocal about her support for the Jamaica Labour Party.

“I'm voting for Labourite because them show improvement and they are building the country. And they are going to make it so that young people can get work,” said the young mother who is also unemployed.

In Lluidas Vale , a higher number of voters were seen, with numbers swelling by midday.

Liaison officers in Lluidas Vale also reported low voter-turnout among the elderly.

Cassandra Wright-Williams, JLP liaison officer reported having to leave older voters at home.

“Most senior persons are afraid to come out and vote. It's not even that they have a choice. We leave them because their family and children say they are not letting them go out,” said Wright-Williams, adding that some younger persons also abstained from voting.

Sharlene Hendricks

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