GECOM agrees to daily tabulation of recount

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In the face of calls from political parties for there to be continuous tabulation in the ongoing national recount exercise, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has agreed to have tabulation done on a daily basis for 90 minutes.

Concerns surrounding the tabulation of the Statements of Recount arose on Thursday when Wednesday’s start of the tabulation activity did not continue.

It was previously agreed that tabulation will be done at the end of the recount for each district but this was not in the legal order which governs the recount process but tabulation commenced on Wednesday with only 25 ballot boxes completed and all 10 districts still incomplete.

“The Order will not be amended since at the end of every region, they will also go back through everything full process,” said GECOM’s spokeswoman Yolanda Ward.

The Commission also decided that the observations for each box based on the ‘observation report ‘ from each workstation would be recorded during the tabulation.

Political parties believe that continuous tabulation will help to make the process more transparent as provided for in the legal order.

“My view that the statements of recount be tabulated on an ongoing basis so that everyone can see and publish as generated… the way to be transparent is to have each ballot box counted and go to tabulation on an ongoing basis,” said ANUG’s Timothy Jonas.

Jonas said no one wants to be surprised at the end of tabulation.

The Commission was meeting at the time of this comment with the decision being subsequently made to have daily tabulation done.

GECOM’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) Yolanda Ward had said that while the process did commence yesterday, there were some technical issues that needed to be resolved.

She said the process that commenced yesterday “from my understanding it was more of a demonstration since there were no clear directions from the Commission since the order says at the end of each region and parties were proposing a continuous system.”

According to the order, tabulation of the Statements of Recount will be done at a central tabulation center in the presence of the CARICOM scrutinising team, representatives of political parties, international and local observers and advisors to the Guyana Elections Commission.

The Statement of Recount is to be projected on a screen to be viewed by all persons present and the information shall be input into a matrix, which process could be viewed simultaneously by all persons present.

The entire tabulation has to be broadcast live, according to the order.

Upon completion of the input of all Statements of Recount for an entire electoral district, the supervisor for tabulation shall ascertain and verify the entries therein and calculate totals for each column therein.

This ascertained and verified copy of the matrix shall be signed by the District Coordinator for the District and by the designated representative of each contesting party present, in the presence of the CARICOM scrutinising team, representatives of political parties, International and Local Observers and advisors to the Guyana Elections Commission.

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