Commissioners of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) are concerned over the high number of rejected ballots recorded during the recount exercise, says the body’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Yolanda Ward.
According to the GECOM Spokesperson, over 3,400 rejected ballots were recorded from the five electoral districts that were completed and certified. These regions are: Regions One, Two, Three, Five, and Seven.
Ward explained that want of official mark (stamp); unmarked or void of uncertainty; marked for more than one party list of candidates; or marked so that the elector can be identified, are all what constitute a rejected ballot.
The issue of unstamped ballots and the intermixing of Disciplined Services’ have been highly controversial issues during this recount exercise, with one party alleging that votes from this faction were not accounted for in the tabulation.
Ward noted that the Disciplined Services’ ballots, which are casted before, are stamped when they are intermixed with the other votes at the respective polling station on polling day. The Commission concluded that these ballots might not have been stamped at the stations, thus resulting in the high number of rejected ballots coming out of the process now. But this is just an assumption. The Commission is yet to determine how it will proceed after today’s meeting.
“At this point, I can’t say where they’re at in terms with their discussion. I know particularly, the number was of some concern…I am sure that when a decision is arrived at, that we will formally communicate that,” Ward said.
Below is a breakdown of rejected ballots per region:
|Region||General Elections||Regional Elections|
|Three (Essequibo Islands/West Demerara)||485||618|