New safety measures and hygiene standards introduced for the 2020 general election are likely to set a model for future elections according to an industry expert.
With voting underway in the country’s first general election since COVID-19 first appeared, more than 150 pallets of personal protective equipment (PPE) including; 2.3 million masks, 70,000 bottles of hand sanitiser, facial visors, alcohol wipes and class 4 disposal bins have been supplied for use during the two-week election process.
Joe Taylor, CEO of NXP, the country’s largest supplier to government agencies and the commercial cleaning industry, which has also supplied the PPE product for the general election says safety measures at this general election are at an international standard.
“New Zealand is not the first country to have held an election under COVID constraints and this has given us the opportunity to take on some of the learnings from around the world.
“Gone are the days where a shared marker pen would be used by multiple voters; voting at the current alert will mean contact tracing, social distancing, hand sanitiser and BYO pens or the provision of a new ballpoint pen which you can take away with you.
“What we can also expect to see in future elections is a new set of hygiene standards to ensure the protection of the public while they cast their ballot,” he says.
Taylor says the Electoral Commission is well prepared for any change in alert levels.
“Planning around the introduction of the new safety measures has been underway for several months. Each of the 70 electoral voting centres has been sent seven different equipment shipments including a training pack, to help them prepare their staff and equip them to maintain hygiene levels during the voting process.
“Additional PPE supplies including millions of masks are on hand should the alert level change between now and the weekend,” he says.