Stability in leadership is critically important during a public health emergency. While in-person public election events do pose additional risks for transmission of COVID-19 compared to alternative approaches to in-person voting, with the appropriate staff, venue and equipment, it is possible to safely conduct an election while adhering to current safe spacing requirements and infection control measures.
The venue size and layout should:
- Enable staff, volunteers and citizens to maintain a safe space of two metres from each other at all times.
- Try to provide one entrance and a different exit to help with traffic flow.
Consider having polling stations outside under a shelter (weather dependent), to decrease the risk of COVID-19 spread. Physical distancing (2 metres) requirements still apply in an outdoor setting.
Infection control measures
Infection control measures include, but are not limited to:
- Providing access to handwashing facilities and placing hand sanitizing dispensers in prominent locations throughout the venue.
- Providing additional respiratory etiquette supplies such as tissues and lined waste containers.
- Frequently cleaning high touch surfaces such as computers, desks, washrooms, writing instruments, seating areas and counters.
- Place screening tool at the entrance where staff and users do a self-assessment at arrival to ensure people are not entering who are experiencing cough, fever, shortness of breath or who feel unwell, have been travelling outside Yukon in the last 14 days or have been in contact with someone in the last 14 days who is infected with COVID-19.
- If possible, provide an alternative voting method such as mail-in or online voting to decrease the number of people at polling stations.
- Encourage citizens who are ill to stay home and use an alternative voting method.
While an operational plan for the election is not required, it may be helpful to fill in a plan to ensure you have thought of all aspects of planning the event safely.
Other guidelines to support elections
The following resources from Yukon.ca/covid-19 may be of use when planning and conducting an election safely:
- 6 steps to staying safe
- Operating businesses safely during COVID-19
- Physical distancing guidelines
- Cleaning and disinfecting the work place
- Download COVID-19 resources to be posted at venue
For more information on COVID-19 and the most up to date information on the Yukon situation visit Yukon.ca/COVID-19, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the COVID-19 InfoLine at 877-374-0425 between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. seven days a week.