National recount gets underway in Guyana

Yolanda Ward

After a two-hour delay the national recount of the March 2, 2020, General and Regional Elections got underway at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) on Wednesday.

GECOM’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) Yolanda Ward said, however, that the process has taken off to a good start and is currently being audio streamed online.

Speaking with the media outside the ACCC, Ward said that the late start was twofold. She explained that the security system in place is to ensure that every person who enters the centre goes through a detailed security check.

“As you know this is based on our experiences as had occurred at the Ashmin’s building in (March).It is heightened security here. We had a late start to ensure persons are properly screened.”

She noted that further details will be provided later on what will be done to ensure an early start on Thursday.

The recount process was also delayed as the opposition People’s Progressive Party was unable to locate its the keys to the containers. Permission was later given to GECOM for the keys to be cut.

Another situation arose where there were two unknown locks on the containers for Region Three, it was agreed that these would be pried open.

The PRO said that ballot boxes had since been delivered to all workstations and that process had commenced.

The process began with the counting of ballots from Regions One- Barima Waini, Two –Pomeroon Supenaam, Three- Essequibo Island West Demerara and Four –Demerara-Mahaica. Two workstations will be counting Region One, another two for Region Two, and three each for Regions Three and Four.

Meanwhile, Ward said the number of persons has been increased at some workstations due to the increase in party agents.

She also related that the during the opening of one of the containers, it was discovered that a ballot box containing votes for Region One was found to be filled with water. That was later drained. However, the commission will ascertain the visibility of the contents of that box.