Rīga elections will require face coverings for voters

The Central Election Commission (CVK) has decided that, during the emergency Riga City Council election on August 29, voters will be required to cover their mouth and nose while at polling stations, CVK representative Laura Zaharova told the LETA newswire May 25.

Voters at polling stations will have to wear either a medical mask or a respirator, or cover their mouth and nose with a scarf. Voters who do not have anything to cover their face with be issued disposable face masks at the polling stations, the Central Election Commission explained.

The restrictions are meant to reduce the risk of spreading the Covid-19 virus at the upcoming Riga City Council election on August 29, and to protect voters, polling station commission members, staffs and election observers, said Zaharova.

The Central Election Commission's decision is based on recommendations of the Center for Disease Prevention and Control. Specific security measures may change depending on the epidemiological situation in the country and specialists' recommendations, but the Riga Election Commission, in cooperation with the Central Election Commission and Riga City Council, is already preparing to provide the necessary health protection measures, said Zaharova.

Information about the security measures will be posted at all polling stations, voters will be asked to disinfect their hands and use disposable gloves. At all polling stations, a distance of two meters will be ensured between voter registration desks, polling booths, screens. One of the tasks of polling station commissions will be to monitor and organize the flow of voters so that security measures be observed, the Central Election Commission explained.

The recommendations also provide for regular cleaning of polling stations, including cleaning of door handles, table surfaces, surfaces in toilets and elsewhere, as well as ventilation of the polling stations, Zaharova pointed out.

In order to protect polling station staffs from the infection, they will have to wear personal protective equipment - disposable rubber gloves, face masks, respirators if necessary, as well as use hand disinfectants.

As reported, Saeima dissolved the Riga City Council at the beginning of the year, while the extraordinary Riga City Council election will be held on the last Saturday of August.

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Election
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