The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has introduced an extraneous variable into the elections in Edo and Ondo State by ordering that anyone without face mask will not be allowed to vote.
“It is mandatory for every voter to wear a face mask or face covering without which the voter would not be allowed to vote,” the Chairman of the electoral body, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, said at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 in Abuja Thursday.
The INEC boss while giving insight into the nature of face masks voters are expected to wear during the elections, said the electorates do not need surgical masks to cast their ballots.
He explained that “a face covering will be sufficient for a voter to be accredited to vote.”
To also ensure physical distance during the elections, Professor Mahmood said INEC is introducing two queues in the polling areas.
“One outside the polling area and the other, inside the polling area,” Professor Mahmood said while stressing that “within the inner queue, voters must maintain the mandatory two-meter or six feet distance and we clearly marked this in one of the by-elections we conducted recently.”
In the polling units, voters must also avoid touching surfaces or leaning on walls, the INEC boss added.
Prof. Mahmood also said for voters who have a high temperature, cough, or are sneezing, there is a protocol by the body.
“They must obey all directions from officials to stop other voters from getting infected,” said the INEC boss.
INEC will be collaborating with health officials in the different states In case of emergencies.
“In Edo State, for instance, we are working with the State Response team,” he explained.
The Edo Governorship election will take place September 19th, 2020 while that of Ondo State is billed for the 10th of October.