Categorized | National News

Chaos at Advance Poll

Chaos erupted at yesterday’s advance poll and what was expected to be a smooth process turned into hours of waiting for thousands of Bahamians.


Law enforcement officers and other registered voters stood in long lines at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs Gymnasium to cast their vote ahead of the May 10 general election.


Unfortunately, some registered voters said once they made it to the front to the line, they were turned away because they were not on the voter’s register.


While he could not comment on the challenges that resulted in an hour late start, Deputy Prime Minister Phillip Davis said however, that everything seemed to be moving rather smoothly once persons got inside.


“I think it’s just outside,” he said.


“I’ve heard about the challenge, but I can’t verify them. The process is ongoing. Inside it’s smooth, outside is a challenge.”


The challenges concerned both Democratic National Alliance Leader Branville McCartney and Long Island independent candidate Loretta Butler-Turner.


“The polling started an hour late we were told. The lines are extremely long, more than two hours. And for the DNA, we have hardly any of our advance poll workers on the list of registry to vote, so that is very concerning,” Mr. McCartney said.


“I hope that Election Day is not like this.”


“Today is not the general voting day and with some 800 plus people probably voting with what sort of seems to be confusion, I think that we have to question whether or not we’re truly for next week,” said Mrs. Butler-Turner.

“We truly have to look at the entire electoral process and maybe what we actually need is an electoral commission, one that is going to deal with specifically elections.”


Despite these sentiments, some voters admitted that once inside, the process did move rather smoothly.


Registered voter Patricia Berry said she and her husband stood on the line for a while, but once inside everything went well.


“I thought there would be a lot of people here so we came, my husband and I at about 7:20 a.m. and you see I came out at about 10 a.m., so the waiting was long this morning,” said Mrs. Berry.


“Once I got inside it was very smooth.”


Ingraham Calls for Appointment of New Parliamentary Commissioner


Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said the chaos at yesterday’s advance poll was an embarrassment for The Bahamas and a new parliamentary commissioner should be appointed forthwith.


Ingraham made this statement last night during the Free National Movement’s mass rally at the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium.


“The Government of the Bahamas was warned well in advance that the parliamentary commissioner was not fit and up to the task and a capable person to conduct an election. They took no advice,” Ingraham said.


He explained that the country needs a new parliamentary commissioner because Sherlyn Hall has reached retirement age.


“He’s on contract and that contract expires in a matter of days I am told. There are ample qualified persons to conduct an orderly election. It’s not too late for action to be taken in this regard,” Ingraham explained.


The Bahama Journal made several attempts to contact Mr. Hall yesterday concerning the advance poll chaos, but received no response.


Polls closed at 7:20 p.m. yesterday, but those votes will not be counted until May 10.


Written by Jones Bahamas

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