Chilean citizens planning to vote in a referendum on a new constitution next month will be at no greater risk of contracting coronavirus at the ballot box than they would be going to the supermarket, the head of the country’s electoral service said on Monday.
Patricio Santamaria, the Servel president, said what was at stake was “too important” for voters to stay away.
“We know there is fear but I want to emphasize that going to vote will be no more dangerous than going to the supermarket, paying a bill or running another errand,” he told journalists in the capital Santiago. “We call for calm, responsible and informed participation.”
Some 15 million voters are eligible to participate in the Oct. 25 referendum on whether to replace the previous constitution introduced during the 1973-1990 military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.
Although the country’s guiding document has been tweaked several times since, replacing it emerged as a key demand of those participating in intense social protests over inequality and elitism that swept across the country last year.
The COVID-19 outbreak in March, however, saw the poll postponed from April and raised fears about a potential knock to turnout seen as crucial to give the result legitimacy.
Polls show around 70% of people want a new constitution, primarily to enshrine stronger guarantees for healthcare and education, but between Cadem polls in March and Aug. 31 there has been a 28% drop in participants declaring themselves “fully decided” on voting, to 62%.
The government has said that those in the active stage of a coronavirus infection - 16,695 people at present - will not be able to vote, with no time to set up postal options.
Santamaria said voters will need to maintain social distance, bring their own pens and remove their masks only for a brief moment to be identified by officials. Voters over 60 will be given a special timeslot and 15,000 additional officials have been hired to ensure compliance with the sanitary protocols.
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GüeónSep 22nd, 2020 - 12:39 pm +2
As most adolesesent mentally challenged Marxistas, you have your facts all mixed up with you pathetic Argentine frustration.
It was YOUR dictator that was responsible for over THIRTY THOUSAND ARGENTINES of which many were disposed by throwing the bodies into the sea from helicopters.
It was the ARGENTINES that brutally harvested babies from their pregnant mothers that the viciousness Argentine bastards then murdered them.
Learn your miserable history before opening your mouth again, because you look like an Argentine imbecile.
Have a pleasant day!
Estimado THINKSep 21st, 2020 - 08:44 pm +1
Oh I see the big picture from here. We have approximately 19 million mixed mestizos of which I am only one. We have had 447 thousand confirmed cases and over 12 thousand deaths. The virus has been exceptionally vicious to our aged community. You do the math, as my calculator informs me the cure is worse than the disease.
As I actually sometimes respect your opinion (repeat,sometimes), but please consider the attached interview with Sweden's head epidemiologist who has managed the pandemic since its unusual development throughout the world.
This took place about a week ago: https://youtu.be/hStrML7vk5k
You'll note their discussion together on why Swedes are not utilizing masks.
When this pandemic began in Chile, we all docilely agreed to a lockdown to flatten the curve. That was many months ago!
Families were separated, children were kept out of school, people lost their income and businesses — as well as everyone seems to have severely neglected their health monitoring. The social damage is immence!
On the positive side of this crises, many of us have quickly profited — by seizing the many marvelous opportunities. I certainly have — as who dares wins.
Meanwhile, I'm thoroughly enjoying the election turmoil in the USA. The media polls ALL are showing Biden will win the Presidency — yet I'm convinced Trump will instead!
(Time will tell if contrarians are correct.)
In any case, I sincerely hope your health remains strong.
Estimado THINKSep 22nd, 2020 - 05:20 pm +1
I've just arrived to Chicureo in a blistering fast drive as the traffic was minimal. (Madame's girlfriend has warned us that Williamson Balfour Motors is continuously monitoring our driving — but thankfully the Carabineros cannot!)
Again, I appreciate the very valid and stark conclusions on the data you kindly provide which PROVE exactly what I'm talking about. The Sweden herd immunity strategy is the best for Latin America.
The Swedes openly admit that their initial methodology was in error and sadly thousands of the elderly died by this vicious viral infection. However, saying that — they did not isolate the elderly from family contact which has proven to be cruel and inhuman. In the case of the USA, the State of New York adopted a policy of sending infected patients to elderly care homes for care — resulting in the massive death counts of the older patients that were denied even saying goodbye to their family.
I suggest you take a look at this amazing info-dashboard to get a better perspective of the overall worldwide pandemic:
Also, the WHO has made a public statement that even when an antivirus has been proven, still it will require people to continue to use masks in public. (Personally I have little respect for — and all of this is way too much for our society in Latin America to accept.)
You can't expect Latinos to act like Japanese — which has protected their society for centuries.
Saying that, we have a Venezolana responsible for requiring routine washing of hands with soap — which alone was excruciating difficult to enforce voluntarily.
We live in dangerous times, but the world cannot be shut down without causing further unacceptable and unanticipated damage.
Closing of children's schools alone will result in a lasting scar on our people and the loss of income — has been terribly cruel, especially for the poor.