Several Statements of Recount (SORs) had to be set aside today, after it was discovered that ancillary documents could not be found in boxes that contained votes cast on the East Coast of Demerara, Region Four (Demerara/Mahaica) during the March 2 General and Regional Elections. Consequently, these SORs could not be tabulated.
This was confirmed today by Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Commissioner, Vincent Alexander, who noted that documents such as the Official Lists of Electors (OLEs) and counterfoils – which provide such information as who would have voted and the number of persons voted – are not in the boxes. Only ballots were found in the containers, he said.
“This is strange,” Alexander remarked when he was being interviewed by the media outside of the recount venue, the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), this afternoon.
Information received by the Guyana Standard suggests that these boxes contain ballots that were cast in the area between Vryheid’s Lust and La Bonne Intention (LBI).
The number of boxes is currently unknown. However, People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Member, Anil Nandlall said that number ranges from 10 to 15.
Nandlall, who also spoke to the media on the issue, said that the incumbent regime, the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) is embarked on a mission to magnify the issue to “gigantic proportions”.
He said that he was aware of the matter and brought it to the attention to the Returning Officer (RO) for Region Four, Clairmont Mingo and the Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield on the night of March 2.
Nandlall proceeded to read a post from a Facebook user, whom he purports is a Presiding Officer (PO), in which the individual said that staffers were directed to put all the ancillary documents separately.
The party agent said that the documents are not missing, but rather, stored separately.
He is concerned over what he says are attempts to invalidate the ballots based on the missing documents. The former Attorney-General said that GECOM does not have the power to do so.
Alexander said that the secretariat has been asked to conduct an investigation into the matter, and to render a report before the Commission decides on the way forward.