RADHICA DE SILVA
Attorneys representing UNC candidate for San Fernando West Sean Sobers are planning to write to the Elections and Boundaries Commission returning officer to rectify some problems at the Gulf View Community Centre which houses three polling stations.
As part of the COVID-19 regulations only one door was being used for electors to exit and enter the facility, but this triggered a bottleneck which lasted for hours.
When Guardian Media arrived on the scene, the lines stretched all the way to the Gulf View Link Road. Hundreds of people stood under umbrellas in the sweltering heat.
Attorney Jyanti Lutchmedial said many electors from Bel Air and Gulf View left the facility in frustration. She explained that elderly people as well as disabled electors were not being allowed to drive up to the centre.
“I have spoken to the presiding officers and they have agreed to look into this matter. They have not explained why they are not opening up the second door but they said opening it may not rectify the problem because the bottleneck is where the actual voting is taking place, ” Lutchmedial said.
She added, “I don’t want to speculate that this is deliberate. I have spoken to the president officer and I want to see if the problems are being rectified before I decide whether this is deliberate.”
She said she plans to write to the EBC’s returning officer noting that in the past both doors were open and only two polling stations were located at the centre.
She also called for standard operating procedures saying it could not be that the elderly and infirmed are banned for driving into the polling station’s yard in some areas and other areas they are disallowed.
She said at the ASJA Girls polling station, elderly people were walking from Todd Street to the station.
Elector Angela Dhoorbassa said she was upset about the bottleneck and called for the process to be speedier.
Another elector Ramnarace Ramdial said he spent almost one hour and 20 minutes to vote.
“I was number 30 and I only now got through,” Lutchmedial said.
Meanwhile, Sobers who voted at the Mon Repos RC said he was happy with the COVID 19 protocols. He said he had worked extremely hard in the constituency and was confident of a victory.
More as this story develops.