Jagdeo concerned about ‘last minute’ changes to polling places

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With ten days left before Guyanese head to the polls, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has cited what he described as “blatant last minute changes” to polling places across the country.

He listed the Mon Repos Primary and Nursery Schools on the East Coast of Demerara which is located in the same compound and which will be used as a polling place.

According to Jagdeo, this location will have to accommodate some 5,000 voters some of whom will have to travel from Mon Repos North and Martyrs Ville South; he believes this will lead to mass confusion on March 2.

“Having 5,000 people in a single place, that is bigger than some of the…rallies. So how they gonna get to vote? And it creates confusion and it seems deliberate,” Jagdeo told reporters at his weekly press conference Thursday at his Church Street, Georgetown office.

Jagdeo claimed that the Lusignan Prison also has a polling station which will affect voters who do not have their own transportation.

“You don’t have transportation going that way, that’s way beyond the back of the village…so how are people going to get there?

“These are the issues we’ve been confronted with and it seems designed deliberately to frustrate people and it could be a form of voter suppression,” Jagdeo said.

The Opposition Leader said these issues were brought to the attention of the technical advisers at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

He said some executive members of the PPP met with Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield who promised to investigate the issue.

Meanwhile, when contacted, Public Relations Officer of GECOM, Yolanda Ward clarified that GECOM will use some private residences as polling places on Elections Day but the Commission has made a conscious effort to reduce this as much as possible.

The PRO explained that GECOM wants to keep electors close as to possible to where they’re voting.

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