Some 25 boxes containing ballots were counted today as Day One of the recount of the votes cast in the March 2 General and Regional Elections got underway at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre (ACCC), Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara.
According to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM)’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) Yolanda Ward, the ballots in seven boxes were counted for Region One (Barima/Waini); six for Region Two (Pomeroon/Supenaam); seven for Region Three (Essequibo Islands/West Demerara); and five for Region Four (Demerara/Mahaica).
Ward anticipates that tomorrow, the Commission will be able to “pick up some speed”. She noted that during the briefing session, several challenges and the placement of staffers would have all contributed to the late start today.
The Guyana Standard reported this morning that the actual recount of the ballots was delayed after some locks that were placed on three containers could not be opened. It is still unclear what the issue was, as both government and opposition officials have different versions of what really caused the delay.
Now that momentum has been set, Ward said that she is hopeful that tomorrow’s operation will be smoother. She said that staffers and party agents are now familiar with what is required of them, so that will help the process to have a prompt 8am start tomorrow.
The entire recount process is tentatively scheduled to last for 25 days. After a week of operation, the Commission will decide if more time is needed.
With 25 boxes completed, there are 2,314 left to be counted.