Voting in a pandemic


Posted by , Gayashi Jayasinghe on April 8, 2020  /  0 Comments

Introduction

This short note allows for easy comparison of the options available to policy makers considering the introduction of remote voting in the context of the current pandemic conditions.  The main text of general applicability.  Annex 1 sets out the conditions unique to Sri Lanka.  Additional annexes may be added if there is demand from countries in developing Asia.

Elections are more important than ever to the common voter. Politics before COVID 19 was considered as a petty tug of war on issues that did not affect the day-to-days lives of many. But now, people are beginning to realise the importance of political leadership at all levels of governance and the impact it can have on the average citizen.[1]

Like everything in our society voting will also have to undergo quick changes in to adapt to post-COVID world. Every county will have to look at the voting options available and consider what additions can be made to the existing systems ensure future elections have decent participation rates. Even if the world gets control of COVID 19, voters may be reluctant to go to a public voting booth due to safety concerns.

Traditional in-person voting will still have to be a key method of voting as complete elimination of in-person voting will not be practical.[2] But different options need to be offered along with in person voting to reduce the burden and traffic on traditional voting booths.

[1] https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200326-covid-19-what-makes-a-good-leader-during-a-crisis

[2] https://www.euronews.com/2020/04/04/coronavirus-how-will-covid-19-affect-the-u-s-election

 

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