GECOM urges citizens to take advantage of claims and objections period

A past photo of potential polling day staff being trained at Lodge Secondary School in Georgetown (Adrian Narine photo)

GUYANA Elections Commission’s (GECOM’s) Public Relations Officer (PRO), Yolanda Ward, is advising Guyanese not to wait until the last moment to make Claims and Objections (C&O) to their information on the Preliminary List of Electors (PLE).

Since the commencement of C&O on October 1, 2019, as of Sunday, October 13, 2019, a total of 6,369 persons have visited the Commission’s various offices to make a claim to be on the List or an objection for those who require changes in their particulars.

Yolanda Moffett

GECOM’s PRO, Yolanda Ward, said, on Monday, that, in her estimation, the visits to the offices set up have been low, even as the Commission has set up some 40 additional offices to facilitate the C&O process. “We urge persons not to wait until that last minute but to ensure that they visit the offices within close proximity to them to have whatever transactions they need to have within the shortest possible time,” Ward said.

With the deadline set at November 4, 2019, she explained that, while persons who visit the offices within this time will be accommodated, one can understand the strain a high number of last-minute visitors could place on the Commission to do verification.

Also on Monday, Ward advised that there have been reports of persons, purporting to be GECOM officials, visiting homes and offering to conduct transaction as part of the C&O exercise. The Commission is therefore urging residents to be vigilant and to only conduct transactions at the permanent and temporary GECOM Registration Offices.

The PLE has 646, 625 names and, at the end of the C&O, a Revised List of Electors (RLE) will be produced. The RLE will reflect all the updates to the PLE which include new registrants, corrections and the removal of names in the case of objections

Added to this, GECOM has successfully completed the training of some 13,134 polling day and management staff for the upcoming General and Regional Elections. “It concluded last weekend,” Ward said. “There were no major hiccups; we revisited and had training where we found that there were short falls.
The training commenced in August with an initial goal of 11,500 being trained ahead of elections.

Meanwhile, during a visit to the government’s Parliamentary Committee, the People’s National Congress /Reform (PNC/R) Chairman Volda Lawrence had indicated that, should the Commission require additional funding leading up to Elections, the government would assist. However, the PRO said that, at that time, the Commission was not in a financial constraint regarding its budget but should such a need arise it would make the necessary arrangements with the government.