GECOM wants evidence of names left off of voters’ list

first_imgFollowing allegations that hundreds of names have been omitted from the Guyana Elections Commission’s (GECOM’s) list of voters for Local Government Elections (LGE), GECOM is saying it wants evidence that persons were unable to vote because their names were omitted from the list.Public Relations Officer at GECOM, Yolanda Warde, during an interview with this publication on Friday, made known this position.As promised, she informed that the Commission had met with the various heads of the disciplined forces as investigations continue into what exactly had transpired on the disciplined forces’ voting day.She said, “I am not aware (of the full extent of the situation). I have seen reports in the media of an alarming and this overwhelming hundreds of people (being left off the voters’ lists). I am not aware, and GECOM is not aware, of that; and if that is the case, then I ask that those persons provide the evidence to us”.Warde explained that GECOM cannot possibly leave persons’ names off the voters’ list. She surmised that one of two things could have transpired.“If an officer does not reside in a Local Authority Area (LAA), then — this is Local Government Elections — he or she will not be required to vote in these elections,” she informed. She added, “We observe that there might have been cases where the respective disciplined services did not provide the information to us, so when those officers turned up to vote, they could not have voted”.The GECOM spokesperson added that she was aware of one case where persons in a hinterland area were unable to vote, as the weather conditions were poor and did not allow for the landing of the aircraft transporting the necessary electionGECOM Public Relations Officer Yolanda Wardematerials.This, however, does not mean that members of the disciplined services will not be given a chance to vote, as they will get another opportunity come November 12, on the actual LGE Day.Last week, GECOM had related plans to meet with the various heads of the disciplined services following the discovery of names of ranks being missing from the voters’ list on November 2, when ranks voted in the Local Government Elections.“The list of persons from the disciplined services that was provided to us actually came from the Guyana Police Force, the Guyana Defence Force (and) the (Guyana) Prison Service; so those persons, we’ve worked with that list that they would have provided to us. So if there were omissions on that part, where the respective agency did not provide an officer’s name to us, that is not an omission on GECOM’s part,” she said.Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo took GECOM to task for the missing names during a recent press conference. He said he also had received information that there have been over 100 reports of this occurring, in sharp contrast to the two reports cited by Warde.“I am very unhappy with a situation that was brought to our attention today (Friday),” Jagdeo stated. “We have received over a hundred reports where soldiers and Police turned up to vote and were told that they will be unable to do so, since their names were not on the list to vote today, although they had done so in 2015 and 2016 on D-day.“So far, we have sought answers from GECOM; the explanations are not satisfactory. We will follow this matter intensely over the next few days, to ensure that no member of the disciplined services is disenfranchised,” he promised.last_img

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