GECOM Commissioner Alexander optimistic rejected ballots will be counted

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, June 4, 2020

Commissioner at the Guyana Elections Commission Vincent Alexander is optimistic that the votes lost by political parties at the Sophia Nursery School due to incorrect stamping of the ballots will be granted to the various political parties.

It was revealed during ongoing the recount process for votes cast at the March 2, General and Regional Elections that 86 ballots were rejected. According to the observation report, these ballots were rejected “for want of an official mark.”

Alexander, who was addressing the media outside of the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, explained that the officer folded the ballot paper horizontally and not vertically. He pointed out that while the stamps were placed on the ballot paper, the numbers were placed one half of the ballot paper.

That mistake saw the APNU+AFC coalition losing 69 votes at that polling station and the PPP 12 votes.

However, Alexander said that based on the intention of the laws, the votes can be counted as valid. “If one is to make a judgement based on not what the law says but what the law intended, I can hardly see us not admitting those ballots as valid ballots,” he stated.

Alexander said that while the Commission has not yet made a formal decision on the matter, he is optimistic that a sensible decision will be reached.

“I am looking forward to a rational and just decision to have those ballots counted,” The Commissioner stated.

During a recent press briefing by the Commission’s Public Relations Officer, Yolanda Ward disclosed that there were 1,927 rejected ballots from just the Regional Election.

During the recount process, there have been several anomalies discovered that has led to claims of electoral fraud mainly by the APNU+AFC Coalition.  The party has written to the Chairperson of the elections body, (retd) Justice Claudette Singh to have these matters investigated.

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