Election Centre to settle disputes in Portland Eastern by-election

Thursday, April 04, 2019

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THE Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) has established a team to resolve any disputes which may arise when the people of Portland Eastern go to the polls today to elect a new member of parliament.

The team will be co-chaired by Director of Elections Glasspole Brown and Political Ombudsman Donna Parchment Brown. It will also include a representative of the Jamaica Labour Party, the People's National Party, a senior member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Jamaica Defence Force, and representatives of Citizens Action for Free and Fair Elections (CAFFE), the Umbrella Groups of Churches, the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica and the National Integrity Action.

It will monitor activities from the Election Centre, which will be based at the Errol Flynn Marina in Port Antonio.

This network of representatives from key entities provides for full airing of reported conflicts with a view to investigate, authenticate and resolve same, as well as enable the Centre to issue factual reports to the media where necessary.

“The Election Centre (will) serve as a source of authentic information concerning election matters, a point for registering complaints, a mechanism for conflict resolution and a focal point for coordination of activities and the sharing and dissemination of information related to specific matters surrounding the conduct of the polls,” said the EOJ.

Voting will take place in 127 polling stations across 49 voting locations with the polls opening at 7:00 am and closing at 5:00 pm. The preliminary counting is expected to be completed shortly after 8:00 pm.

The EOJ, meanwhile, has warned that only electors registered to vote in this constituency will be allowed to vote and persons planning to cast their ballots have been reminded to take their Voters' Identification Card to the polling station.

Persons who turn up to vote without their ID cards will be asked to swear, or affirm, to an oath of identity and be fingerprinted in order to verify their identity.

The use, or display, of cellphones and cameras is also not allowed inside polling stations.

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