Can you stop me if I have coronavirus and I’m going to vote?

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Can you stop me if I have coronavirus and I'm going to vote?




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© JONNATHAN OYARZUN/ATON CHILE
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Chile is one step away from experiencing an episode that will mark its history. This October 25, for the first time in a democracy, the country will be able to choose whether or not to create a new Constitution. The Magna Carta, inherited from the military dictatorship, could be left behind. The scenario has even been replicated by European media. However, the vote will be lived in a particular way, since the context is also historical: it will take place in the midst of the toughest pandemic in the last 100 years.

For this reason, some sectors of the Chilean right have expressed their intention to suspend the Plebiscite. However, the realization of this has a strong defense throughout the country. Both by sectors of the opposition and the general public. Even the Electoral Service (Servel) is campaigning to increase the participation of the people.

Can I go to vote if I have Covid-19?

The health issue has kept everyone uncertain. At the beginning there was consensus for everyone to vote, without distinction. Even active cases of coronavirus, then, they indicated, it is a constitutional right. The idea was that they vote in a different place from the rest. However, the initiative lost strength and today the reality is the opposite: the Government calls not to attend. The spokesman Jaime Bellolio, in fact, assured that the people could be detained.

If they arrive at their polling place, with prior knowledge of their PCR result, they would be in breach of sanitary measures. However, the vote will be official. Bellolio himself recognized it: “He votes, but once that happens, he is going to be sanctioned and can be arrested, because he is breaking a specific rule.”

Patricio Santamaría, president of the Servel, opened another debate: “If the person does not know and it is established that they have COVID-19, the first thing is to respect their right to vote. This is how the law establishes ”. In fact, it complements: “People who commit a crime inside a premises have to vote before being detained.” In simple terms, anyone who attends can vote, regardless of whether or not they have coronavirus. But you will suffer the consequences, if you tested positive.

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