“We still have 91 residences which are polling places. I think it was cut from 131 because we have public buildings. And I understand there was a recommendation from The Carter Center that we should move away from private residences. Remember someone’s house was burnt some time ago, and so let us move from those things because problems do arise and I think it’s better to keep away”, Justice Singh told News Source.

GECOM Chair defends decision to cut back on private residences as polling places

The Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission, Justice Claudette Singh, today defended the decision by the Commission to cut back on the number of private residences to be used as polling places on Elections Day.

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She said there are still private residences being used but the number has been reduced and public buildings are instead being used more.

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“We still have 91 residences which are polling places. I think it was cut from 131 because we have public buildings. And I understand there was a recommendation from The Carter Center that we should move away from private residences. Remember someone’s house was burnt some time ago, and so let us move from those things because problems do arise and I think it’s better to keep away”, Justice Singh told News Source.

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The People’s Progressive Party has expressed its concern over the decision and has also moved to inform the observers. The PPP claims that areas that are considered its stronghold appear to be the most affected.

The party claims that some voters could find themselves having to travel long distances to cast their ballot on elections.

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But GECOM’s Chairperson said she is unaware of any such situation. Justice Singh said “I am not aware that there is a lot of distance between the polling place and these new places…what I have been told is that it is not a big distance, but if there is any such thing, then those things will be addressed.”

Justice Singh visited a number of polling places today as members of the Disciplined Services cast their ballots.

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She said the process went very smoothly and GECOM has already put systems in place to ensure that there will be a smooth flow of activities on Elections Day.

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