Complaints of slow pace as COVID rules kick in Manchester Central

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Complaints of slow pace as COVID rules kick in Manchester Central

Thursday, September 03, 2020

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MANCHESTER, Jamaica— Electors at several polling stations in the Manchester Central constituency are complaining that there is a slow pace in voting at polling stations.

“I have been here from before 7:00 am and at minutes after 8:00 am I am still here waiting. They need to move faster on the inside so that people can vote and go home or go to work,” a woman told OBSERVER ONLINE outside Caledonia Basic School.

There was little to no practising of physical distancing at that location as electors demanded that there be a faster pace of voting.

“Unnu move little faster, because mi nuh want nuh corona people come yah enuh!” a frustrated man shouted.

A heavy security presence at deCarteret College, which is being used as a polling station, assisted in enforcing strict COVID-19 guidelines with a limited number of electors allowed to enter the compound at a time.

There was a similar situation at Richmond Primary School due to the presence of police officers instructing electors to maintain physical distancing.

At George's Valley Basic school Devon Lewis, who is a first-time voter, commended the pace at which voting was taking place.

“I don't feel like I waited long. I got here at 7:35 am and the line was short. It is the first time I am voting, so the process was very exciting,” Lewis said.

Lilian Salmon was happy with the waiting time for casting her ballot at May Day High School.

“I waited about twenty minutes to get through, so the process has been very smooth,” she said.

Manchester Central is being contested by People's National Party (PNP) incumbent Peter Bunting, Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) candidate Rhoda Crawford, and independent candidate Rohan Chung.

Bunting, who is vying for his fourth term as Member of Parliament, had defeated the JLP's St Aubyn Bartlett by 1,172 votes in the 2016 election.

Kasey Williams

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