'How am I supposed to vote?' People awaiting COVID-19 test results out of luck in Sask.
Saskatchewan voter casts a ballot in the provincial election. (ELECTIONS SASKATCHEWAN)
REGINA -- Some eligible voters won’t be able to cast their ballots on Monday after being told to self-isolate because of COVID-19.
Despite mail-in options this year, it appears voters who didn't mail in a ballot but have been required to self-isolate won't be able to vote in person on Monday.
"Any voter having to self-isolate on Election Day is very unfortunate. Voting in-person is the only option [Monday],’ Elections Saskatchewan said in a statement. “Elections Saskatchewan does not have the legislative authority to offer phone or internet voting at this time, but will continue to push modernization forward for future elections."
Elections Saskatchewan had multiple methods available for voting in the provincial election.
Still, not being able to vote isn’t sitting well with those who would like to.
David Poilievre, who woke up with a sore throat last week, said he went to get tested for COVID-19 and received a negative result.
However, his symptoms remain.
"I'm supposed to be isolating, whether I'm positive or negative. How am I supposed to vote?" he said.
"I started looking into it, the Elections Saskatchewan website just says, if you're not feeling well, stay home. Well, I have the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which gives me the right to vote, so that can't be right."
Poilievre isn’t alone.
Saskatoon student Jennifer Smith was told to self-isolate on Oct. 19 after someone she was in contact with tested positive for COVID-19.
She said losing the right to vote is a high price to pay for not being able to predict she may need a mail-in ballot prior to the Oct. 15 deadline.
"We are going to have a lot of people who have the sniffles, a little bit of nausea going on and all the symptoms that could possibly be COVID-19,” she said. “I believe it’s really going to affect voter turnout.”
At a news conference on Friday, Saskatchewan's Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab reminded voters to follow recommendations around voting.
"We shouldn't go to the poll if you are unwell, absolutely, and when we go, wear a mask, maintain physical distancing, follow all the guidelines," he said.