Getting ready to have an election throughout the coronavirus pandemic is a dynamic problem for Elections Calgary.
However the physique that oversees and conducts Calgary’s common election has a plan on how to verify Calgarians can vote whereas mitigating the chance of COVID-19.
“If I was to take a look at our current approach, obviously, that would mean that voters would be wearing masks in the voting stations, they would be required to distance, to use hand sanitizer,” Andrew Brouwer, deputy metropolis clerk with Elections Calgary, mentioned Wednesday.
“We would also be looking at ensuring that the voting stations themselves are regularly sanitized.”
Elections Calgary is planning to restrict the variety of individuals at a voting station, improve the variety of voting stations and improve the quantity of house a voting station takes up.
The town is working with its voting tabulator to verify voters can deliver their very own pens to scale back frequent touchpoints.
The elections oversight physique is working to increase advance voting hours.
Classes from different jurisdictions which have gone to the polls throughout the pandemic are being intently thought-about.
“As each of these other jurisdictions go through the process, we’ll learn from them, and we will certainly adopt our plans and processes in response,” Brouwer instructed International Information.
On Feb. 12, in-person voting for Newfoundland and Labrador was cancelled following spikes in COVID-19 circumstances, pushed by the brand new variants within the province.
Earlier elections in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick earlier within the pandemic had been capable of accommodate in-person voting.
McKenzie Kibler, press secretary for Alberta Municipal Affairs Minister Ric McIver, mentioned the province has been monitoring different elections within the nation because the starting of the pandemic as a part of its dedication to protected municipal elections in October.
“By learning best practices, we have developed educational materials and virtual training,” Kibler mentioned in a press release.
“We’re continuing to work with municipalities to prevent the spread of COVID-19, for instance, by allowing debit and credit card payments for nomination deposits instead of physical payments.”
Newfoundland and Labrador expanded particular ballots, also called mail-in voting, due to the surge in COVID-19 circumstances.
Brouwer mentioned increasing particular ballots is one thing Elections Calgary has been working with municipal affairs on to develop contingencies if wanted.
Mail-in votes are usually issued to people who find themselves unable to vote upfront or on election day, which is Oct. 18.
“For example, if a person does have COVID-19, that would be one of those reasons why they could ask for a special ballot,” Brouwer mentioned.
“We continue to consider recommendations from municipalities and are looking at options like expanding the use of special ballots (e.g. mail-in ballots),” Kibler mentioned. “However, no decisions have yet been made.”
In keeping with the federal vaccine rollout plan, the Canadian authorities expects to obtain sufficient vaccines “to immunize everyone for whom vaccines are approved and recommended” by September 2021.
However the trajectory of the pandemic with new variants stays an unknown variable.
“We have to continually monitor and adjust our plans as required,” Brouwer mentioned.
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