GECOM grants PPP’s request to increase polling places – Sase Gunraj

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The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has decided to increase the number of polling places in response to a request made by the opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), according to Opposition nominated GECOM Commissioner Sase Gunraj.

Gunraj told the News Room that the Commission has since instructed the Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield to establish the 12 polling places along the East Coast of Demerara and Chesney Region Six – which have traditionally supported the PPP.

While GECOM has acceded to the PPP’s request, it has not determined whether the added polling places will be private residences.

In those communities, the Commission eliminated private residences as polling places and the PPP fears that thousands of its voters will be disenfranchised.

“The alternative locations are to be determined by the Chief Elections Officer,” Opposition nominated Commissioner Gunraj said following Tuesday’s statutory meeting at GECOM.

Opposition nominated GECOM Commissioner, Sase Gunraj

The PPP, led by its General Secretary, Bharrat Jagdeo met with the full Commission Tuesday where he requested 12 additional polling places.

The electoral body has approved 2,339 polling stations for Monday’s general and regional elections. There are several polling stations at one polling place but the PPP/C wants the stations to be more dispersed in order to avoid congestion at one location and reduce the distance some voters will have to travel.

“While I agree with the reduction and hopefully future elimination of the use of private residences as polling stations, logistics and efficiency and accessibility by voters cannot be sacrificed in that regard and I am happy that these changes are being made to take that into consideration,” Gunraj told the media.

Meanwhile, Alexander said, “there will be a review of the places which are said to be congested and alternative arrangements will be put in place.”

He referred to the provision of tents to serve as polling stations in these areas.

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