GECOM extends daily recount time to 11 hours; preparations ongoing at Conference Centre

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The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has received approval from the National COVID-19 Task Force (NCTF) to extend its daily counting hours to 19:00hrs. As such, the process will run from 08:00hrs to 19:00hrs daily.

This was disclosed by GECOM Commissioner Sase Gunraj following a meeting of the Commission on Wednesday.

This new arrangement gives the commission 11 hours per day to conduct the recount instead of the initial 10 hours which was approved

The Commission has not yet determined the start date for the recount but the extension of the daily hours is expected to have an impact on the 25-day schedule for the conclusion of the process.

The GECOM Commissioner disclosed that the Secretariat has begun preparations at the recount venue –the Arthur Chung Conference Centre –on Wednesday. A simulation exercise is expected to be conducted on Thursday.

“The Secretariat is well on its way to being prepared…” GECOM Commissioner Vincent Alexander said.

One of the recent concerns in relation to the recount is a recommendation by health officials to have 33,000 masks for the process.

This matter, however, did not come up for discussion on Wednesday.

“We have not discussed the matter, that matter was not brought to our attention as a matter of concern…the secretariat has not brought that to as a concern,” Alexander said.

The team recommended that the masks be changed every 30 to 60 minutes by the 132 persons who are expected to be present at the 10 counting stations.

The GECOM Commissioner expressed confidence that GECOM’s Secretariat is prepared to move ahead with the process.

According to Alexander, one local electoral observer and foreign observer will be allowed at each station.

As such, the issue of live streaming the recount was again brought up with the request to have the count streamed to those observers who will not be at the venue.

However, this was not approved as there is no guarantee that the stream will only be shared to those who it is intended for.

“The proposition that came to us is not one for public screening but to those observers who will not be there,” he noted.

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