29 ballot boxes excluded from tabulation exercise due to missing documents
—CEO to investigate matter
DPI, Guyana, Saturday, June 6, 2020
The Guyana Elections Commission has decided not to include the Statements of Recount from 29 ballot boxes which were missing critical documents, in the tabulation exercise.
The decision was made after a meeting was called by Chairperson of GECOM Justice (retd) Claudette Singh with the Commissioners and the Chief Elections Officers Keith Lowenfield.
This was disclosed via a statement from the Elections Commission this evening.
The ballot boxes belong to the East Coast of Demerara in District Four and were missing official documents such as the marked list of electors, poll books, counterfoils among other critical documentation.
The APNU+AFC raised the matter as an act of electoral fraud and urged the Elections Commission to decide on the issue.
“Following the discussions, the commission decided that the SORs prepared for those ballot boxes should not be included in the tabulation at this point in time,” the statement read.
It was highlighted that “the CEO was advised to investigate the reasons why the documents were not included in the ballot boxes and to ascertain where the documents could be found.”
The Commission further stated that none of the missing documents is in the possession of the CEO who has been wrongfully accused in sections of the media as deciding to exclude said ballot boxes.
It was noted that the CEO has already contacted some of the Deputy Returning Officers responsible for those areas for a meeting which proved was futile. The next step, the release stated, is to contact the Presiding Officers.
“The poll bags have been checked but the documents were not found. The CEO has already contacted some of the Returning Officers responsible for those areas for a meeting and while they have committed to meet with the CEO today 6 June 2020, as at 16:00hrs, no DRO showed up to be interviewed. Efforts would be made to contact the Presiding Officers who were responsible for the respective polling stations,” the Elections Commission stated.
However, it was pointed out that while 28 of the 29 SORs were already tabulated, the tabulation supervisor was advised to highlight those figures during the live stream, pending a decision of the Commission.
On Friday, former Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency Election Agent for the APNU+AFC, Joseph Harmon indicated that close to 90 thousand votes have been affected due to electoral fraud.