GECOM training over 80 employees for recount
The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is conducting a one-day training exercise for over eighty employees who will be counting and supervising the national recount of votes cast on March 2, 2020.
The exercise is ongoing at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre where the recount is slated to take place.
Public Relations Officer of GECOM Yolanda Ward told the media Thursday that four employees, including a supervisor, will be present at each of the ten recount stations.
“The process basically this morning is to go through the methodology that has been developed for the recount to apprise the staff of the procedure it entails and actually to give them a walkthrough as to their respective stations that they will be at and to give them an idea as to the practical examples as to the process that will unfold when the recount starts,” Ward explained.
The recount will start with the staff taking notes of what is contained in the ballot boxes when they are emptied.
There will be a rotation of GECOM employees during the 25 days of recount in keeping with the COVID-19 guidelines.
She said there will also be staff on standby “to ensure that we don’t have any slippage or pause in the process to ensure the recount is done in an expeditious manner.”
Also included in the training are persons who worked as Returning Officers on March 2. Assurance was previously given by Commissioners that Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo whose tabulation of results in Region Four was deemed fraudulent will not be a part of the recount process.
Meanwhile, Ward noted that GECOM is seeking clarity from the COVID-19 Task Force on what type of mask to use for the recount.
The Task Force in its report included a recommendation to change masks every 30-60 minutes. This will see the need for 33,000 masks for the recount.
“While that has been indicated in the Task Force report, what they did not specify, is the type of mask to be used. This is something that the Commission will interrogate but I must say that the use of masks will be in effect. The frequency of when it will be changed, the Commission will deliberate.”
GECOM is also determining the placement of its cameras which will be used to project the ballots on screen during the recount.
The electoral body has already agreed on a work plan and an order to be gazetted once the CARICOM recount team confirms its date of arrival.
The team was given approval to land in Guyana today but GECOM has not been informed of when the team will now arrive.