Last update: 19-Dec-2013 7:24 am
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
You are here
EBC to employers: Give Point voters time off today
Employers should allow certain Point Fortin voters time off to vote again today after yesterday’s suspension of voting at two Point polling stations, the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) says. The EBC ordered the immediate suspension of voting yesterday at polling station 4696 at Guapo Government Primary School in the electoral district of Techier/Guapo and also at polling station 4730 at Point Fortin RC Primary School in the electoral district of Newlands/Mahaica.
The EBC, which is investigating, said the suspension was necessary after it was found that a number of electors had voted using the wrong ballot paper in those voting stations. The PNM, ILP and NJAC (PP) contested in the two polling areas. There are six seats in the Point Fortin corporation area.
Voting in the two polling stations resumes between 6 am and 6 pm today and all those whose names are on the revised list of electors for polling stations 4696 and 4730 will be allowed to vote. This includes those electors who voted before the error was discovered, the EBC said. Candidates contesting the election in those electoral districts and officers of their parties were informed of the situation. Announcements advising electors of the change will be made by mobile public address systems within each of the two divisions today.
EBC chief elections officer Ramesh Nanan said last night the necessary preparations were in train for voting to continue today. Nanan called on employers to allow voters from the two Point Fortin polling stations the necessary time off—according to the Representation of the People Act—again today, in order to cast their ballot.
He said continuation of voting on another day was not unprecedented, as in the 2003 local government poll voting had to be continued on the day after owing to a similar situation in the Balmain/Forres Park/Claxton Bay area. Other EBC officials said the error at the two Point polling stations was discovered “fairly early” yesterday, after 89 people had voted. They said the ballot papers which had gone to those two stations did not have the correct candidates’ names.
Other political sources said the mix-up involved candidates with the same names. EBC Point Fortin presiding officer Patrick Phillip declined to speak about the situation.
Same name, different place
It was a mix-up in the ballot papers for two People’s National Movement candidates for Point Fortin with the same last name that led to the suspension of voting at two polling station. The two candidates are Sherwin St Hillaire, the candidate for Techier/Guapo, and Janelle St Hilaire, candidate for Newlands/Mahaica. Yesterday morning, a voter brought to the attention of the presiding officer at the Point Fortin RC School in the district of Newlands/Mahaica that the wrong St Hillaire was on the ballot paper.
Initially, calls were made to the voters who had already cast their votes to come back and vote again. Only four returned. Local Government Minister Marlene Coudray was informed and called the EBC. An official from the San Fernando district was sent to the polling division and all voting was suspended until today.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.