Last update: 13-Dec-2013 3:20 am
Friday, December 13, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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EBC unsure where early turnout figures came from
An EBC official told the T&T Guardian yesterday they were not sure where some of the media got a figure of 26 per cent as a “final” figure for the election turnout, as it had been stated on Monday that that was a preliminary estimate and final figures would be forthcoming along with other results later in the week. The EBC yesterday released the official percentage for Monday’s voter turnout—43.52 per cent of the electorate.
An EBC statement said 451,179 people voted on Monday out of a total electorate of 1,036,6731 officially registered up to October 20. PNM MP Colm Imbert told the T&T Guardian he had obtained the 43.52 per cent figure and preliminary results since Tuesday.
EBC officials, however, said after initial preliminary estimates on Monday night, the EBC had been busy after Monday with recounts, Tuesday’s repeat voting in Point Fortin and working out the allocation of aldermen, which was “a new and very time-consuming” aspect of the exercise. After Monday’s polls the EBC was unable to give an official voter turnout figure, and preliminary estimates, widely reported up to 12.30 am Tuesday, indicated that turnout was around 26 to 27 per cent.
On Tuesday, all three daily newspapers reported a low turnout. The T&T Guardian and Express gave identical figures: PNM 116,000, UNC 84,000 and ILP 62,000. The Guardian reported these on Tuesday as preliminary figures. The Express said, “The voter turnout was 26 per cent.” Newsday reported, “Some estimated that about 200,000 voted...meaning the turnout could hover around a record low of 20 per cent.”
EBC officials subsequently told the T&T Guardian they were engaged in working out the aldermen selection and voter recounts, and at that time also said the same figure was applicable as a preliminary estimated figure, adding that final official turnout would be released later. That was done yesterday.
-With reporting by Gail Alexander
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