‘No major issues’ so far on day four of recount – GECOM spokeswoman
Day four of the ongoing recount of ballots at the Arthur Chung Conference Center is progressing smoothly with only minor queries being made by party agents, according to Public Relations Officer of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Yolanda Ward.
“All things being equal, we haven’t had any major issues for today. Of course, we still have some questions coming to the floor, which they are quickly resolved such as the validity of a ballot and those things, nothing that can really cause a long delay at the respective stations,” Ward told the media outside the recount site Saturday.
Ward explained that there was a recent issue where an elector cast their ballot but signed his/her name on the back of the ballot paper and it was registered as a valid vote when in fact, it should have been a rejected ballot.
“The ballot was passed at the polling station as a valid ballot but in fact, that should be a rejected ballot because once you can identify that elector, it is not a ballot that should be accepted.
“So matters as those are some of the minor issues that kept coming up in the work stations but we were able to quickly resolve those issues,” Ward noted.
Another issue had to do with a ballot box which was opened but it did not contain the Official List of Electors and as a result, it was sent back to the container until GECOM decides on how to proceed with it.
Ward emphasised that the Commission has to be guided by the work plan and the gazetted order which governs the entire recount process as she dismissed reports that there are efforts afoot by GECOM to derail the exercise.
“So there is nothing there sinister to be accusing the Secretariat of trying to delay or derail the process because we have to be guided by what is included in that gazetted order.”
The Commission should be meeting Saturday to address a number of concerns relating to the recount including what time the last ballot box should be removed from the container.
This remains a contentious issue among party agents with some insisting on closing off their recount station at 5:30pm and others who want to work beyond the 7pm stipulated time.
It has been argued that some ballot boxes contain votes which would take the recount beyond the 7pm daily timeline if it is opened close to the cut off time.
As at 2pm, some 22 ballot boxes were counted – seven from Region One and five from Regions 2, 3 and 4.