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Police, soldiers, prison service personnel to vote in Local Govt elections Tuesday

Almost 7,000 members of Guyana’s security forces are eligible to vote in Local Government Elections on Tuesday- March 8, 2016- ahead of the rest of the population to elect councilors to the 72 local authorities across the country.

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) said the 4,693 members of the Guyana Police Force, 357 from the Guyana Prison Service and 1,928 from the Guyana Defence Force are slated to vote. “Ballot Stations for the Disciplined Services Ranks are located at their places of duty or deployment.”

Most of the 523,831 eligible voters would be casting their ballots on March 18, 2016, but members of the security forces are always permitted to vote before because they are deployed or may be required to provide security on the day civilians vote.

Voting is scheduled to last from 6 AM to 6 PM. GECOM at 19 locations for the Guyana Defence Force, five for the Guyana Prison Service and  four for the Guyana Police Force, according to the elections management authority. GECOM said ballots were being moved Monday to the respective balloting stations on Monday.

Assuring that “plans and activities are in place to support the process,” GECOM explained that the allots were extracted, sorted and enveloped after arrival on March 1, 2016.

GECOM explained that each Ballot Sheet for a member of the Disciplined Forces is placed into two envelopes. The outer envelope bears the elector’s name along with the District and Local Authority Area in which he/she is required to vote. The inner envelope bears the District, Local Authority Area and the Constituency in which he/she is required to vote.

According to the Elections Commission, the Ballot Boxes will be returned to GECOM after voting Monday, and kept in the secured custody of the Chief Election Officer under guard by Members of the Guyana Police Force.

The Ballots cast by members of the Disciplined Forces will be sorted by Local Authority and Constituency to be dispatched to the respective Returning Officers for intermixing on Election Day, which is, March 18, 2016.

The Polling Stations identified for the intermixing of the Disciplined Forces ballots will be gazette, GECOM added.