Election management is both complex and complicated – to a degree which makes even the eminent experts in associated fields unable to grasp the nuances, intricacies and inter-connectedness of activities.
In a letter (‘Guyana could learn from German elections’ Stabroek News, September 24) Mr Vishnu Bisram states, “Another difference in the German election relating to Guyana is the quickness of the count. Within hours, people knew the results. In Germany, there were some 62 million voters and they all voted by paper ballots that were counted manually, and it was done efficiently in a few hours. In Guyana, it could take up to week to count less than half a million ballots – something is not right.”
Just like the Germans (who are known for their efficiency), the Guyana Elections Commission (Gecom), completes the vote count within hours of the close of the poll, displays the results on the walls of every polling station for all to see and report; of course, the documented data on the statements of poll are known by all of the contesting political party agents at the respective polling stations. Consequently, the results are pretty much known by political parties, the media, elections observers, etc. This is what obtains in the USA, UK, Canada, etc.
The official results are a different matter. Although the laws of various countries may differ, one thing is certain and common to most countries, namely that the official results are not released until weeks after the elections. In Guyana, the law (Representation of the People Act, Chapter 1:03) gives Gecom 15 days to declare the official results. In 2006 the official results were declared within three days after the elections, and in 2011 the results were declared within 2½ days after the elections. Yet we see documented in the newspapers that “it could take up to week to count less than half a million ballots – something is not right.” In fact, the “something” that “is not right” could very well be the preaching on issues of which knowledge is trivial.
Public Relations Officer
Guyana Elections Commission