The Electoral Department is assuring Barbadians it is ready for tomorrow’s general election.
Supervisor of Elections Angela Taylor was quoted today in a release from the Barbados Government Information Service as saying staff had been extremely busy over the past few days preparing the packages of election materials, supplies and equipment for polling day.
“Much of the last two days have been spent collecting ballot papers from the Government Printery, after which they were checked to ensure that they were properly numbered and that there were no inconsistencies or inaccuracies in the ballot books,” Taylor said.
In addition, she said the polling tins for each station had been packed with the registration cards to which officials would refer if any voters showed up to cast their ballots without their identification cards.
Taylor noted that on Tuesday evening, all the Returning Officers and Election Clerks were engaged in a refresher session in preparation for Election Day, which she said included training in the use of the election management system, a new software which will be used for, among other things, entering the results of the count.
“The results will be transmitted to the Electoral Department and some of the media houses will also receive live feeds from that data. Today, Wednesday, we will continue to respond to persons querying their registration status and the office will continue to be a hive of activity as Returning Officers collect materials and election equipment for distribution to the Presiding Officers in their respective constituencies,” she added.
The Supervisor of Elections expressed disappointment that some people did not heed the department’s call to register early.
“We would have started our public relations programme a year ago in which we were asking those persons who were not registrants to register; those persons who changed address since last election to come in and make the change, and persons, as usual, waited until the last minute,” she stressed.
Meantime, the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) has reported an incident-free campaign, while it commended the general behaviour of the public, supporters and the various political parties and candidates.
“We thank the campaign managers and officials for honouring their commitment that was given at a previously held meeting with the senior command of the Force. At that meeting, campaign managers collectively pledged to work hand in hand with the police and with each other throughout the various marches, motorcades, spot meetings and major political meetings to ensure as is customary, that the election process in Barbados remains at a consistently high standard,” the RBPF stated.
Despite reporting an incident-free campaign, the law enforcement authorities described the election campaign as challenging on their resources.
However, they said the men and women of the Force must be commended for their hard work and commitment to national duty by working extended hours.
“We want to ensure all and sundry that we have planned meticulously for this major national event. Police officers will be posted at all polling stations and polling district island wide to ensure a safe environment. We will also have police patrols on our highways and byways to ensure law and order to all other normal activities,” the police said, while advising the public to continue to be observant and secure all valuables, vehicles and homes as they go about their business.
“As we enter the final hours of the 2018 election process, we advise all persons to be on their best behaviour, observe all rules and requirements of the law and the processes. Whatever the final outcome of the election process, be respectful and control your passions,” the RBPF said.