After reports of people doing “surveys” outside of certain Southern polling stations about voters’ choices, the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) has warned it is illegal for people to ask voters such questions.
The EBC gave the warning after a complaint was brought to Guardian Media that people dressed in black outside of La Romaine and Gulf View stations, were asking people who they voted for.
The information given to Guardian Media was that one of the persons said they were” working for a man to take a survey.”
EBC Communications Manager Bobbi Rogers, however, said, “This is illegal. The Representation of the People Act, Chap. 2:01 Section 64 (3) (d) says: No person shall directly or indirectly induce an elector to disclose to any person the name of the candidate or political party for whom he or she has or has not voted.”
There was no sign of the “survey takers” later.
Another complaint was brought to the EBC’s chief election officer yesterday by PNM’s St Joseph Campaign manager Noel Garcia who said the team has come upon three cases of alleged voter impersonation.
Garcia spoke just before noon about the issue.
He said, “At Aranguez North Secondary school and the primary school there, we found instances of people impersonating voters and in one instance one person voted twice at Aranguez North Secondary school.”
“We reported it to the Presiding Officers and also spoke to EBC’s CEO. We’re now on red alert for any possible irregularity after this and our scrutiny has increased for the rest of the day’s proceedings.”
Meanwhile, in another issue, UNC St Joseph team members confirmed that candidate Ahloy Hunt stood his ground when an election officer asked him to leave a Gandhi Vedic polling station around mid-morning after he was there for two minutes. They said the allotted time under rules is 10 minutes and he insisted on his right since there was an “Arbitrary application of the rules.”
They said he’d been seeking to find his polling agent in the station and he also returned later and spent another 10 minutes in the station.
When Guardian Media called Hunt, at mid-morning, he said it was not a good time to talk. On another call to his phone later, the man who answered said “the candidate” wasn’t available UNC St Joseph campaign manager Neil Gosein said he wasn’t aware but accused the presiding officer of “slowing down the voting process.”