It is impossible to vote for someone else – Lowenfield
…yet deems 115,844 votes “invalid” due to impersonation in 2020
Five years ago, Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield made it clear that it was “not possible” for voter impersonation to take place within Guyana’s electoral system. Now, he has completely flipflopped on that position in order to give a false ‘victory’ to the APNU/AFC coalition.
“I think we need to put to rest the concept that a man can leave polling station A in Cummingsburg and go across to Alberttown or Queenstown and hop around. It’s just not possible,” Lowenfield had explained in 2015 during the General and Regional Elections.
“It has to be a rumour that you can vote at more than one location. The reality is, for you to vote at a polling station, you have to be listed to vote there. In that polling station, our Presiding Officer and the party agents will have a list that is specific to that polling station… But if you go into another polling station, then (your name) will not be there. So, you’re not even having access to [that] polling station… because your name is not there,” the CEO had reasoned.
“Even if you impersonate [someone]… and you’ve removed the ink, when you go [to another polling station] in another name but you don’t have an ID card, then the folio has come into play where our staff, GECOM’s PO [Presiding Officer] and APO [Assistant Presiding Officer] have the folio for all of the persons listed at that specific polling station.
“So, you come and say, ‘I’m Troy Johnson’, and you don’t have an ID card, you have to pass through the process of probably having the features of Troy. And our Presiding Officer will be asking you, since you don’t have an ID card, as the Chairman (at the time Dr Steve Surujbally) mentioned earlier, ‘What’s your name, and your date of birth and your mother’s middle name?’ So, there’re questions we have for you when you’ll be coming to impersonate ‘Troy’,” Lowenfield explained.
According to him, voter impersonation is “just not possible”.
This is the same CEO who has now dumped over 115,000 votes based on unsubstantiated allegations levelled by the APNU/AFC Coalition that votes in the 2020 elections were recorded in the names of dead and migrated people.
Lowenfield, on June 23, submitted a report to the Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice Claudette Singh, with fabricated numbers which show that the APNU/AFC won the elections.
Lowenfield’s figures, however, are far from the truth, since the National Recount exercise, as certified by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and GECOM itself, shows that the Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) won the elections with 233,336 votes.
The recount exercise, which saw every single ballot cast at the March 2 polls being recounted in the presence of party agents, elections officials, local and international observers, has been deemed transparent and credible by organisations like the Commonwealth, Organisation of American States (OAS), CARICOM, as well as the Governments of USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Norway, the European Union, among others.
In fact, they have all called for the recount results to form the basis of the declaration of the elections results, with some foreign powers warning of sanctions if the government of the day does not reflect the will of the people.
The GECOM Chair had made a decision to use the recount results as the basis of the declaration of the winner of the 2020 elections, and had instructed Lowenfield to prepare a report accordingly.
Notwithstanding a court action filed by the APNU/AFC to interfere with that process, Lowenfield eventually submitted the report with the fraudulent numbers. In fact, the CEO went further to defend his actions in the face of criticisms from both local and international stakeholders – including the CARICOM Chair, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley.
Lowenfield’s latest report to the Commission is being regarded as his fourth attempt to alter the results of the election in favour of the APNU/AFC Coalition.
The first two times were when he supported the fraudulent declarations made by Returning Officer for Region Four, Clairmont Mingo, for that district.
On March 5, Mingo declared fraudulent results for District Four, prompting the PPP/C to move to the courts, which scrapped those results and ordered that the process be done through the legally prescribed procedure.
When the process was resumed, Mingo still proceeded to use concocted numbers, and he eventually made a second fraudulent declaration on March 13.
Mingo had declared that the APNU/AFC won 136,057 votes for District Four, while the PPP/C won 77,231; but the certified recount process clearly shows that for Region Four, the APNU/AFC won 116,941 votes while PPP/C won 80,920.
Following the recount exercise, Lowenfield had submitted a report on the activity to the Commission, in which he included the certified figures which show a victory for the PPP/C as well as concocted figures which disenfranchised some 60% of voters.
In that report, Lowenfield claimed that the APNU/AFC won 125,010 votes while the PPP/C won 56,627; he claimed that the other votes were “invalid” based on the unsubstantiated allegations of the APNU/AFC Coalition.
Lowenfield’s latest report actually validates votes he would have previously invalidated; the CEO now claims that the APNU/AFC coalition garnered 171,825 votes, while the PPP/C gained 166,343 votes.
Private criminal charges have since been filed against Lowenfield for breach of public trust and conspiracy to commit fraud.