JIS News

November 29 is the day that the military, police and election day workers will be allowed to vote in the local government election, which Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, has called for December 5.
The Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) is encouraging all members of the security forces, whose names are not on the current voters list, to contact the office by Saturday (Nov. 17) to have the necessary arrangements made for them to vote.
Assistant Director responsible for field operations at the EOJ, Earl Simpson told JIS News in an interview that: “I would say to the police, if your name is not on the voters list as a police officer, then you need to get in touch with our offices. You have until Saturday that is the 17th of November, to get that information to us so that we can make the necessary adjustments to the list to have you in the correct place for voting.”
Commenting on the implications of the elections on the school system, he said that schools which will be used as voting centres will be closed in order to facilitate the process.
Nomination day for this year’s local government election will be held on November 19.
Meanwhile, Mr. Simpson said that the EOJ is reporting that it is fully prepared and ready for the election. He pointed out that following the general election on September 3, the organization began preparing for the polls. “Immediately after the completion of the September 3 general elections we commenced preparations for the upcoming parish council elections because we knew it was due by the 31st of December,” he said.
He noted that focus was placed primarily on election day workers and polling station security assistants, “so we were well underway prior to the announcement of the official date.”
Mr. Simpson indicated that the organization will need approximately 2,000 persons as election day workers inclusive of polling station security officers. Most of these workers will be drawn from the list of individuals, who worked during the general election. “Primarily, we will be using the workers who worked in the last general election. We have made some changes, naturally, by attrition because some individuals did not perform satisfactorily, so we have changed those persons,” he told JIS News.
The EOJ has already contacted some of the selected individuals, and plans are afoot contact the additional persons. “Our objective is to have all the workers before nomination day and we are well underway. I think we will be okay in terms of workers come December 5,” the Assistant Director assured.
Mr. Simpson told JIS News that the procedure for conducting the local government elections will be the same as that for the general elections and as such, the number of presiding officers and polling stations will remain the same.
The local government elections however, will be held in 227 divisions across the island and the municipality of Portmore, as against 60 constituencies for the general election. He said that although the EOJ is presently conducting registration, only persons whose names appeared on the June 2007 voters list will be allowed to vote come December 5.

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