GECOM staff was forced to use ‘Mingo Spreadsheet’ for tabulation
Assistant Registration Officer at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Alexandra Bowma
Assistant Registration Officer at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Alexandra Bowma

Explosive revelations…

THE unraveling of the plot to rig the 2020 elections, that included the use of a pre-populated spreadsheet for the verification of votes in District Four, has taken an explosive turn.

Assistant Registration Officer at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Alexandra Bowman testified on Tuesday before the ongoing Presidential Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the March 2, 2020 elections.

She implicated the embattled Returning Officer for the District, Clairmont Mingo and his assistant Michelle Miller in providing the instruction to substitute the Statements of Poll (SoPs) with what is now known as the “Mingo spreadsheet,” during the verification process.

Bowman faced several questions pertaining to the introduction of the spreadsheet, which she admitted is uncommon for electoral purposes, since it does not carry the same safeguards as the SOPs.

The Assistant Registration Officer, who was seven months pregnant at the time, testified that on March 4, 2020, while at the Ashmin’s building, the office of the District Four RO, she was instructed by Mingo’s Clerk, Michelle Miller, not to call votes from the SOPs.

“When it was my turn [to call out figures to verify the votes] I was instructed that we won’t be calling from the SOPs anymore, we’ll be calling from a spreadsheet,” she told the CoI.

The Assistant Registration Officer said that Miller was the “middle man” between “those upstairs,” including Mingo and the Deputy Chief Elections Officer, Roxanne Myers, and other GECOM staffers who operated in the tabulation room.

Bowman told the commission that after she was told about the decision to use a spreadsheet, she recommended that the spreadsheet be projected onto a wall so that party agents would have had the opportunity to follow.

“[However], we obtained two projectors, neither of them was showing brightly on the wall but we didn’t have a screen,” she said.

After the attempt at what she viewed as transparency failed, Bowman went ahead with her task to call the numbers from the spreadsheet.

She told commissioners that immediately after she started calling the votes from the spreadsheet, she was met with objections by the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) party agents, who said that the numbers she called did not correspond with that which was reflected on the SOPs.

Bowman said that she could not compare the two sets of figures.

She said that none of the SOPs were in her possession. Instead, they were placed at the back of the tabulation room in the custody of clerical assistants. Miller was also at the back of the room, involved with the handling of the SOPs.

Bowman also testified that GECOM staffer Enrique Livan, was the person who downloaded the infamous spreadsheet onto her personal flash drive and handed it to her for use on a laptop.

However, she testified that at no point did Miller, or Livan, who was also in the tabulation room, offer to verify the figures on the spreadsheet to ascertain whether they were correctly recorded.

Bowman testified that despite the vehement objections, she was instructed by Miller to “keep calling” numbers from the spreadsheet. She complied.

Eventually, former Deputy Chief Elections Officer, Roxanne Myers, and the GECOM Chair, Ret’d Justice Claudette Singh, intervened and she was given permission to leave due to health concerns. She did not return to work until after her delivery.

She further related that several attempts were made to recover her flash drive used during the tabulation process. However, she was told that it could not have been returned to her as it was “evidence.”

Miller, who is facing criminal charges over election fraud, was summoned to appear before the COI today but opted to exercise her right to remain silent.

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