Current Affairs

Current Affairs




Election workers, security forces vote today
Observer Reporter
Friday, October 11, 2002



ELECTION day workers and members of the security forces will today cast their votes in 173 locations across the island ahead of the October 16 general elections.

According to figures provided by the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ), 12,791 election workers, 5,756 members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and 2,272 members of the Jamaica Defence Force are expected to vote ahead of the rest of the nation.

EOJ officials, working with lists that show where police and military personnel are stationed, will ensure that ballots are delivered to those who are stationed outside of the areas in which they were enumerated. Returning officers will then sort the sealed votes by constituency, and the cast ballots will be placed in a secure location until they are added to the general pool for tallying on election day when more than 7,200 polling stations will be opened, according to the Electoral Office.

Voting will take place between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm.

Unlike previous years, the names of those who vote before the general polls will be on a separate list, and not simply crossed off the voters' list once they have voted. This is one of the methods being employed by the EOJ to ensure that no votes are duplicated.

In previous years, returning officers would simply draw a line through the names of election day workers, who were listed on the general voters' list. In some cases, in the flurry of activity, the line was not drawn, leaving the name on the list and the possibility to have two votes cast in the name of one person.

As a result of the new method of extracting the election day workers' names from the general voters' list, those who do not cast their votes on October 11 will not be able to vote with the rest of the nation as their names will not appear on the general voters' list.

Police and soldiers normally vote at least three days before an election to allow them to carry out their duties on election day, but legislation was only passed in the House of Representatives this year for election day workers to vote before the poll, allowing them to be free for electoral duties.