Laws don’t allow candidates’ photos on ballots

-GECOM

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) yesterday said that the elections laws do not allow for the inclusion of the photographs of presidential candidates on ballot papers.

GECOM pronounced on the issue following recent calls in the media for the photographs of the various presidential candidates contesting the upcoming polls to be published alongside the particulars of the relevant parties.

In a statement issued yesterday, GECOM noted that Section 39 of the Representation of the People Act (Cap. 1:03), which provides for requirements of Ballot Papers for General Election, states that every ballot paper shall contain, serially numbered on the left hand side and in alphabetical order of the initial letters of the title of each List of Candidates, the initial letters, the title and symbol of each List of Candidates.

In the printing of the ballot paper, it adds that no letter, word or design can legally be printed on the face except the initial letters, the titles and symbols of the Lists of Candidates.  The initial letters of each List of Candidates shall be printed in large capitals and the full title of each List in small capitals.

Further, it says no rule (line/border) can be printed on the face of the ballot paper except the horizontal rules separating the particulars of the Lists of Candidates from one another and the vertical rules separating those particulars from the numbers on the left hand side and from the spaces on the right where the symbols are shown and separating the spaces for symbols from the spaces on their right where the vote is to be marked.

Additionally, Section 39A of the Representation of the People Act (Cap. 1:03), which addresses the requirements of Ballot Paper for Geographic Constituencies, states that every ballot paper for a geographical constituency shall contain, serially numbered on the left hand side, and in alphabetical order of the initial letters of each list of a contesting party, the title and symbol of each contesting party; In the printing of the ballot paper no letter, word or design shall be printed on the face except the initial letters, the titles and the symbols of the contesting parties. The initial letters of each contesting party shall be printed in large capitals and the full title of each in small capitals.

The symbols shall be printed between a parties’ particulars and the vertical rule separating the parties’ particulars from the spaces where the vote is to be marked.

“In view of the foregoing, all concerned are invited to be guided accordingly,” GECOM said.

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