The letter by Robin Singh entitled “Open letter to all Guyanese and foreign observers” which was featured in the Guyana Times edition of February 11, 2020, is appropriate, timely and revealing. There are other incidents to draw to the attention of the electorate, the public generally and the observer missions.
At the vote count at the close of the poll, Opposition scrutineers must be fully aware of ballots that are deemed spoilt.
At the national and regional elections in 2011, at a polling division in West Bank Demerara, the Returning Officer deemed a vote whereby the voter’s X protruded marginally outside the box although it was undoubtedly indicated that it cast for the party next to the box. The vote is therefore valid, yet the Returning Officer deemed it spoilt despite the convincing representation by the scrutineer.
At last, the young brave female scrutineer requested a recount of the votes. The exercise was done about two days later at the Central Office of GECOM at Vreed-en-hoop, West Bank Demerara.
As the Presiding Officer went through each ballot, the young lady identified the vote which the Presiding Officer instantly declared valid. Opposition political parties must, therefore, be watchful and vigilant.
Certainly, there will be a large number of spoiled votes in the elections and through this way, rigging would be addressed.