2786134
Barry Padarath after voting at the Couva Anglican School this morning.

Gail Alexander

Blows for the Election and Boundaries Commission 9EBC) for certain polling station conditions in Central – and concern over people doing a “survey” asking some South voters who they voted for.

That was among mid-morning issues as general election voting in T&T continued.

UNC Princes Town candidate Barry Padarath lashed out at the EBC after he said a person who was alongside him in the line at the Couva Anglican School polling station, fainted. He also said he took an hour to vote.

Padarath told Guardian Media, “The process was slow and in many instances arrangements for the elderly, disabled and other vulnerable people were not in place. I had people standing in the line with me, on the compound of the polling station who fainted and there was no help.”

“I was frustrated waiting in the line much less for others older than me who’d also been waiting long. One of the presiding officers offered to let me vote but I said I’d keep to my place and vote just like the other electors. I require no special treatment.”

“If certain standards were adhered to in other parts of the country, it didn’t happen here and we’ve seen that it often doesn’t happen in other rural areas. The EBC had five weeks and much longer time since the start of the year to prepare for a general election which they knew would come this year, but the situation doesn’t reflect that consistent depth of preparation all over T&T,” he said.

“A lot of what they said hasn’t materialised. But the UNC leader has pointed out that since there are no election observers, we all have to be observers for this election to ensure there’s no frustration of the process.”

“Right now also (10.17 am) I‘m in Princes Town and it’s raining and voters have to stand in the line in the rain. There should have been some contingencies in case rain occurred because EBC would have known line would be long due to social distancing. Luckily we have a mock station nearby and people sheltered there.”

Padarath said he was also investigating why one Princes Town polling station opened 10 minutes late.

AT 9.26 am Guardian Media also received complaints that a group of people dressed in black were asking people who emerged from voting stations at la Romaine and Gulf View who they voted for. Group members told people they were working “for a man to do a survey”.

The issue was forwarded to EBC’s attention.

Concerns were also raised about the slow process at Gulf View Community Centre, which voters said was ” in a mess” due to the long line there. The line was outside of the compound, going away back

Mid-morning voting in some POS North polling stations – from French Street and at QRC to Belmont, showed shorter lines than earlier in the morning. In La Horquetta, heavy voter turnout was reported, but no issues up to 10.30 am.