GECOM on to second phase of national recount process
DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, June 09, 2020
With the completion of the physical vote recount of the March 2, 2020, General and Regional Elections, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has moved on to the second phase of the process, which will be undertaken by the Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield.
In line with the national recount order, the CEO is now in the process of compiling a report of the recount, which includes all valid votes cast in the elections as well as the observation reports emanating from the ten electoral districts under review.
According to the gazetted recount order, the commission, upon receipt of the CEO’s report will deliberate and will advise whether the CEO should use the data to compile another report that could be used for the declaration of credible results.
As it stands, the commission has not yet declared a winner of the March 2, 2020, General and Regional Elections, as it still has to determine the credibility of that process.
The national recount, a request by His Excellency President David Granger, is aimed at establishing whether the votes cast on March 2, were done in a fair, free and credible manner.
Based on the recount, and the host of irregularities unearthed, the government believes that the process was in no way credible.
A summary of the irregularities has shown close to 8000 instances of fraud affecting 1222 of the 2,339 total ballot boxes. Together, a total of 257, 173 votes have been affected, the government has calculated.
Discovered during the recount too, was the absence of some 540 Certificates of Employment, and 1,337 Oaths of Identity. Due to missing poll books, there were some 932 unverifiable Oaths. There are also 36 Official Lists of Electors missing.
The recount has also uncovered 560 unstamped ballots and 528 missing poll books. The names of 63 deceased persons were used to cast votes, along with 4,171 persons who were out of the country during that time. While 326 persons without any form of ID were allowed to vote.
The administration is adamant that in the name of transparency and fairness, the Guyana Elections Commission cannot use the affected votes to declare the process free and fair.
It has cited the instances of the lower East Coast of Demerara, where 41 ballot boxes were tabulated although the votes in those boxes have so far not been validated. The commission has so far been unable to find any of the statutory documents to determine the validity of those ballots.
On Sunday, GECOM Commissioner Vincent Alexander said there is sufficient evidence before the commission that suggest that the March 2 Elections were not credible.