The delay was due to the absenteeism of the members appointed by lottery to be in charge of the polling stations, possibly for fear of SARS-CoV-2 infection, in spite of the meticulous sanitary protocols in force for the occasion.
The situation kept the senior citizens assigned to vote during the first two hours of the voting day in long waiting lines.
Normally, when the polling stations’ members do not arrive on time, the first ones in line take over, but this time it was not possible because the sanitary protocols against the coronavirus prohibited the seniors to do so.
The National Office of Electoral Processes (ONPE) did not foresee that situation or foresaw it too late, since only in the last few days the head of that agency, Piero Corvetto, called on young people to come early in the morning to replace possible absentees.
After the turn of the seniors, the ONPE affirmed that 80 percent of the polling stations had been gradually installed.
In the midst of protests by senior citizens in the places where voting had not yet begun, the Ombudsman’s Office and the ONPE insistently urged youngsters to go to their polling stations so that they could be installed, in order to normalize the process.