GECOM notes 1,536 rejected ballots as recount continues
With the ballot recount still ongoing for three electoral districts, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has so far noted a total of 1,536 rejected ballots across five districts.
GECOM’s Public Relations Officer Yolanda Ward on Monday explained that the ballots were rejected during the recount process for several reasons.
The rejected ballots include unstamped ballots. The Presiding Officers at the various polling stations were responsible for stamping the ballot paper with a six-digit stamp before a person went into the booth to mark their ballot.
In some cases, ballots were rejected because it may not have been clear who the person intended to vote for, while in other cases the person may have marked the ballot for two parties, or some may have been marked so that the elector could have been identified.
Ward said for the general election in District One there was a total of 380 rejected ballots, for District Two, there were 251 rejected ballots, for District Three, there were 485 rejected ballots, for District Five there were 256 and for District Seven, there were 164 rejected ballots.
For the regional elections, there were a total of 1,927 rejected ballots.
So far, only 1,730 boxes have been recounted with a total of 598 boxes still to be counted.
Ward said the Commission is discussing how to treat with unstamped ballots, including those the Coalition has claimed were cast by members of the Disciplined Services who voted a week before the rest of the population.
The ballots from the Disciplined Services were not stamped at the time they voted but were stamped on elections day.
“From some of the numbers from some of the boxes it was believed that some were Disciplined Services but it continues to be a discussion at level of Commission.”
Political parties have argued that it is impossible to know which ballots belonged to the Disciplined Services because they are mixed with the other ballots at the polling stations.