Closure of EOJ offices to affect publication of voters' listTuesday, March 31, 2020
THE Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) has announced the extended closure of their offices islandwide, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and alternative means of conducting business with the entity.
“We closed them from the 14th of March and we had indicated then that they would be closed for the next two weeks. We have now extended that closure until the end of April. The purpose of that closure was just to scale down the interaction between our staff and the general public,” Director of Elections Glasspole Brown said.
While all EOJ constituency offices and voter ID renewal centres remain closed, the public is being advised that contact can still be made with the EOJ by calling the head office at 876-922-0425-9 or toll-free 888-991-VOTE (8683); by calling the constituency offices; and by e-mailing the EOJ at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brown said the scale down of operations will impact several schedules of the EOJ, namely the publication of the May 31 voters' list and completion of the voter identification card renewal process.
“The May 31 list will be impacted, in the sense that prior to the publication of the list we normally have what we call a returning officers (RO) sitting. This was scheduled for the first and second of April. This has to be postponed, so the new date for those sittings are the second and the fifth of May. The commission is still looking at whether or not they will still go ahead with the publication of the list on May 31. That is an issue to be reviewed by the commission, and as soon as they make a decision we will so advise the public,” said Brown.
Brown, however, remains hopeful about the completion of new voter ID cards under the EOJ's voter ID card renewal programme.
“Production will be affected, but we still have some amount of time to go. Remember, we had given an extension on the current cards. They remain valid until the end of December and, therefore, based on the amount of time that still remains, there is a possibility that we should be able to make the deadline, but it is dependent on how quickly we are able to get over the virus or curtail the pandemic,” he said.
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