The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) would have established over 2,300 polling station across Guyana, with many being housed in public buildings. After the close of polls yesterday, residents and the media complained about being denied access to the Statements of Poll (SoPs) plastered often within the domains of these public institutions.


After GECOM officials would have completed their day’s work, the SoPs are displayed for public consumption. However, with the preexisting security arrangement being reverted to after electoral operations end, security officials often prohibit persons from entering the premises after certain hours to view the SoPs.

Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield agreed that this is a hurdle, and took note of it.

“We may need to remove those barriers that speak to whatever security arrangements are at the locations where polling took place, after a particular time to allow the public access into these locations to allow media and members of the communities to gain easy access to facilitate their own information arrangement…The point is noted, and it is something that we will strive to ensure is minimized or eradicated in the future,” he said.

Not only is access being denied to public buildings, but also, to private residences that were used as polling stations. Reports have been made with regards to occupants of private residences closing their gates after certain hours, thereby restricting access to view the SoPs.

Meanwhile, the issue of the removal of SoPs continues to pose a challenge for the Commission. Lowenfield said that GECOM would often receive reports of missing SoPs and requests for additional copies. This, he said, has become a trend.

“[Authorized removal of SoPs] has been a trend in the management of elections ever since the legislation has changed to ensure that Statements of Poll are placed outside of every polling station…That has been the trend – the removal of those statements. Sometimes the statement is placed outside the polling station at 21[:00]hrs and by 21:10, it’s removed…While some communities guard those results with keen interest, others do not,” he said.


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