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Elections Saskatchewan ‘strongly encourages’ but will not require masks at the polls

Due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19, voting in the provincial election will look different for Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation Community voters says Elections Saskatchewan.
Due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19, voting in the provincial election will look different for Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation Community voters says Elections Saskatchewan. Chris Young / The Canadian Press

Elections Saskatchewan is finalizing its plan to keep voters safe this month and that doesn’t include wearing a mask.

When voters head to the polls on Oct. 26 for Saskatchewan’s 29th general election, there will be no mask mandate in place.

Read more: Voting options for the 2020 Saskatchewan election

“Elections Saskatchewan does not want to confuse issues that are being overseen by jurisdictions,” Chief Electoral Officer Michael Boda said Thursday during a press briefing.

“We’re yielding to the public health order, and yielding to the local community bylaws as well. We really do not want to confuse the issues and get involved in doing that.”

Read more: Elections Saskatchewan recruiting up to 17K workers for pandemic vote

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The province’s chief medical health officer recommends mask use when physical distancing is not possible.

Despite no mandate, Boda says Elections Saskatchewan “strongly encourages voters to use a mask.”

“We will provide one if they don’t have one at the polling station.”

Read more: Masks and gloves: Elections Saskatchewan preparing for pandemic election

Voting will look different for people heading to the polls this year. Boda say dividers will be erected between stations, pencils will be single-use and social distancing will be enforced.

Click to play video 'Regina to require masks on buses after transit employee tests positive for COVID-19' Regina to require masks on buses after transit employee tests positive for COVID-19
Regina to require masks on buses after transit employee tests positive for COVID-19 – Oct 15, 2020