KINGSTON — Member of Parliament for South West St. Catherine, Everald Warmington, is recommending that the time for voting at polling stations be extended by two hours.
Mr. Warmington was opening the debate on a Motion dealing with matter, in the House of Representatives on November 1, at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.
The Motion called for Section 33 of the Representation of the People Act to be amended, allowing the time for polling on an election day to be between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. At present,polling takes place between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Mr. Warmington argued that when the law was established, “they didn’t have lighting throughout the country and there are very few areas in Jamaica today that do not have electricity."
He noted further that due to the early closing of polling stations, some persons were unable to exercise their right to vote.
"People who work in Kingston now live in Old Harbour, May Pen and other places. Even though the law provides that an employer gives an employee half a day to go and vote, it doesn’t happen in reality,” Mr. Warmington said.
"When it doesn’t happen, that employee dare not go out and complain that the employer did not give him or her the half day to vote. In this job market, you can’t take the chance to report your boss for not getting the time to vote, you just have to bite it and squeeze it," he added.
Debate on the Motion will continue at the next sitting of the House.
By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter