GECOM ready for 523,831 persons to vote in Local Govt Elections

GECOM ready for 523,831 persons to vote in Local Govt Elections

ballot boxPosted by: Jomo Paul – Demerara Waves – February 5, 2016

The Guyana Elections Commission Friday said all systems are go for 523,831 eligible registered voters to cast their ballots in Local Government Elections slated for March 18, 2016.  The total number of valid votes cast at the May 11, 2015 general elections are 412,012 or 72 percent of the 570,708 then eligible voters for the entire country.

For the first time ballots would be cast for Councils in new towns-  Bartica, Lethem and Mabaruma. They join the list of the other towns- Georgetown, Linden, New Amsterdam, Anna Regina, Rose Hall and Corriverton.  

With less than 40 days remaining before 71 Local Authority Areas head to the polls, the Commission says that all systems are in place.

During a press conference on Friday, Chief Election Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield stated that preparations are currently being made for the printing of ballot papers which will be ready in time for March 18.

Lowenfield revealed that in addition to the symbols being on the Ballot papers; the faces of those contesting will appear on those papers.

Lowenfield also indicated that these Ballots will be printed in Canada where the process will be overseen by GECOM Commissioners.

The CEO further noted that as it relates to the announcement of the results, each Returning Officer is tasked with that responsibility. Hence there will be no central declaration of poll results.

It was also revealed that for some four areas, the results will be a no contest as only one Party has indicated its interest in contesting the area.

Those areas include Crabwook Creek, Moleson, Black Bush Polder and Mocha Arcadia.

Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO) Vishnu Persaud explained that more work will have to be done to sensitize persons in those areas.

Speaking GECOM’s voter education strategy, Persaud was adamant that the Commission is doing a fine job.

“We are on an all out campaign to provide information about local government elections…we have not spared any effort in so far as this is concerned,” he stated.

Meanwhile, GECOM Chairman Dr Steve Surujbally contrary to what some persons believe, LGE is very simple. He stressed that all registered voters should come out since it is an imperative part of local democracy.

“After so many years without LGE my thrust to you would be to spread the word” so people can vote, he emphasized.‎

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