GEORGETOWN, Guyana, February 13, 2020 (CMC) – The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is seeking to assure voters that it is working to ensure that the results of the March 2 regional and general election would be made available, in the shortest possible time after the polls close.
“Understanding the anxiety in persons, it is important for us to deliver results in the shortest possible time. And not just delivering the results, it is the delivery of accurate and credible results, within the shortest possible time,” said GECOM Public Relations Officer, Yolanda Ward.
Speaking on a radio program, here, on Tuesday evening, Ward said while the laws of Guyana make provision for the declaration of results 15 days after the polls have closed, GECOM is working to declare the results sooner.
“We have built on lessons learnt and we have been working out our own operations and administrative subsets, to ensure that we can deliver elections results in the shortest possible time,” she told radio listeners.
Last week, GECOM confirmed that the ballot papers to be used in the elections had arrived, here, from Canada.
GECOM has said that an estimated 700,000 registered voters are eligible to cast ballots in the March 2 election that will be contested by nine political parties.
Apart from the 2,500 polling stations, an additional 60 will be made available for the disciplined services, whose members will be casting their votes on February 21.
Ward, during the radio interview acknowledged the challenges of declaring the results early in the past, noting that Guyana’s geographical layout and the remoteness of many of the participating communities, are factors contributing to the situation.
“Some riverain communities are only accessible by plane, while others are by boat. Therefore moving Statements of Polls (SOP’s) from those locations to the city to affect the full tabulation, can pose some challenges,” she explained.
In addition, she said, the laws of Guyana currently provide only for manual voting, and that the Returning Officers for each administrative region will have to declare the results of the Regional Elections, before the General Elections results are announced.
“It is something I hope the electorate can really understand; the challenges we have, in terms of the geography and the logistics and what it entails to ensure we have the timely declaration of the results. But we are working through all the systems to ensure that we can have the results, within the shortest possible time,” she added.
Meanwhile, GECOM said that the Official List of Electors (OLE) has been made available to the public, and that an estimated 13,000 people have been trained to work on election day.
Several international observer teams have already arrived, here, to monitor the elections.