GECOM going all out for transparency—Commissioner Alexander

—provision for sign language coming soon

DPI, Guyana, Sunday, May 10, 2020

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is going all out to provide all necessary information to the viewing public, to ensure full transparency of the national recount of the March 2 General and Regional Elections.

Commissioner Vincent Alexander on Saturday said the commission decided to now read aloud the details on each observation report, instead of displaying it on screen, during the tabulation process.

This decision he said, will allow for all Guyanese viewing and listening to the process to be made aware of all that is happening.

The commission is considering going a little further by providing sign language, to cater for persons who may be hearing impaired.

“If you are transmitting this to the public, how does a blind person receive the transmission? If you do not read the transmission, how would the blind hear, if you do not have sign language, how will the deaf person know?” he questioned, reminding that the whole purpose of the process is for transparency.

The tabulation of the process will now commence an hour earlier, beginning 16:00 hrs and ending at 18:30hrs each day.  It will begin with the reading of the observation report which is prepared by agents at the workstations, narrating errors of discrepancies unearthed in each ballot box.

“There are those who are still opposed to that, notwithstanding that they want to hold on to transparency as the basis on which this should be transmitted anyhow.”

Alexander dismissed claims by the opposition that the new process, will further delay the general national recount

“They fought supposedly for tabulation, and not only tabulation, but the transmission on the grounds of transparency. If you are going to be transparent, you have to have an equitable policy that allows the population at large to benefit,” he said.

According to Alexander, the parties want “two bites of the cherry”, asking for the ballots to be counted sequentially, while at the same time, completing the day’s count at the specified 19:00hrs deadline.

Many stations have been closing their counts earlier than 7pm, since; in their judgment, opening another box with hundreds of ballots would take them beyond the deadline.

Alexander said the PPP has now agreed to shelf the sequential order counting to allow for another box with fewer votes to be opened, in the event the count is moving close to the 19:00 hrs deadline.

“Eventually those who were in contradiction have come around to resolving that problem, the way I had suggested long now,” Alexander emphasised.

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