The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) takes the opportunity to respond to one specific aspect of the text of the last paragraph of the Editorial in the Guyana Times of Wednesday, July 7, 2010, titled `Coalitions and voters dedicated’. The last paragraph states: “That is why the Guyana Elections Commission has an important task leading up to the 2011 elections. It must enhance citizens’ understanding of politics and voting rights, in order to make them responsible and intelligent voters.”
At the outset it must be made abundantly clear that GECOM is not a political organisation, hence we are not mandated with any political responsibility. Simply put – GECOM has no business involving itself in politics and will never so do. Nonetheless, it is recognized that any action which could compromise the activity and function of the Commission, any occurrence which could destabilize the environment in which GECOM operates must necessarily be confronted by GECOM.
As a separate matter, with respect to enhancing citizens’ understanding of voting rights, in order to make them responsible and intelligent voters, GECOM has a permanent Civic and Voter Education Section which undertakes the propagation of the civic and voter rights and responsibilities of the electorate. This involves (i) the production and installation of appropriate billboards and banners at strategic locations, (ii) the production and publication of pertinent infomercials via radio and television, (iii) the production and distribution of applicable flyers/pamphlets, interactive sessions at grass roots levels, (iv) panel discussions on germane issues on television, (v) visits to schools, (iv) the publication of suitable notices in the local newspapers, (vii) the publication of relevant information on the GECOM website, and (viii) the establishment of telephone hotlines through which voters could have any question, pertaining to the electoral process, answered.
GECOM is convinced that the Civic and Voter Education strategies which were used for the 2006 elections contributed largely to the successful and commonly acceptable conduct of those elections.
GECOM is cognizant of, and will continue to carry out without fear or favour, its responsibilities pertaining to enhancing citizens’ understanding of voting rights, in order to make them responsible and intelligent voters and every other facet of our mandate.
The publication of this response would ensure that all concerned are informed accordingly.
Public Relations Officer