GECOM agrees to six additional workstations for national recount.

—NCTF to give decision on Friday

 DPI, Guyana, Thursday, May 14, 2020

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) today identified six possible sites within the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) where additional workstations can be established; to accelerate the national recount of the votes cast in the March 2, 2020, General and Regional Elections.

The Commission will however only move forward after it receives a report from the National COVID-19 Task Force (NCTF) which visited the recount centre to inspect the sites today.

Day 9-Alexander 1

GECOM Commissioner Vincent Alexander

Commissioner Vincent Alexander said the task force will advise the commission on whether the places identified can be used for the recount. He said he is inclined to all decisions by the task force.

“I am disposed to the advice of the people who are experts in the area. Allow the people who have the expertise to do their work. Unless there are absurdities in their suggestion, I am inclined to work with whatever is proposed by the people who are qualified,”.

With close to 400 ballot boxes so far recounted, and with an average of 50 boxes per day, the goal of completing the 2,339 boxes in 25 days, seems to be challenging task for the commission.

The elections body is currently utilising 10 workstations for the recount, with at most 18 persons situated at eight of those stations. The remaining two have at least 10 persons.

Alexander said the possible workstations will also be housed in the building and will not exceed 14 persons.

On Tuesday, the commissioner expressed concern with the number of persons currently utilising the ACCC.

He reported an average of 400 persons occupying the conference centre each day. These include party representatives, local and international observers, GECOM staff, members of the Guyana Police Force (GPF), food handlers and members of the maintenance crew.

In the meantime, he reported that during the visit today, the NCTF observed that some GECOM employees working in the vicinity of the containers were at the time not wearing their face masks.

This was immediately brought to the attention of the Chief Elections Officer (CEO) who instructed the officials to do so.  The task force also made some spot checks at workstations to see if they were observing the recommendations.