GECOM investigating ‘strange occurrence’ of wrong voters list in ballots boxes – Commissioner

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The Guyana Elections Commission has launched an immediate investigation into discoveries made on Monday, during the ongoing recount exercise, where the portion of the Official List of Electors (OLE) for two different polling stations was mixed up.

The OLE is made up of all persons who were qualified to vote. All voters were assigned one of 2, 339 polling stations to vote. For every polling station, a list of the names of persons assign to vote there was drawn up.

GECOM Commissioner Vincent Alexander said the OLE for Ballot Box 4124 was found in the Ballot Box 4122 and vice versa.

He said these are “stranger occurrences” since these polling stations were isolated and working with their own list of electors, Alexander stated.

Those boxes were not counted and returned to storage while the Secretariat investigate what might have occurred.

Alexander said once that determination is made it will be counted.

GECOM’s Public Relations Officer Yolanda Ward subsequently told the media that the Commission has taken steps to request the presence of the respective Presiding Officers (POs) to explain what would have transpired.

“The Commission will call in those POs to find out what might have happened,” she said.

Ward said there is nothing in the law that specifies how the Commission should act in this case but the electoral body will likely review future employment with GECOM by those involved in this irregularity.

Meanwhile, when asked about the possibility of human error, Commissioner Alexander said: “I would say at the end of the day some human action would have caused that to occur, whether it was an error I would not make a judgment.”

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