ABEC ready for election
As close to 48,000 voters in the twin-island nation prepare to move into ballot-casting mode, tomorrow, the body responsible for the smooth execution of the process, the Antigua & Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC), has declared that all its systems are ready to carry out the election.
The announcement was made by ABEC’s spokesperson, Anne Harewood George, who promised that the process would be free, fair and unimpeded by any of the challenges faced in 2009.
“We plan for the polls to open at 6 am and close at 6 pm,” Harewood George told OBSERVER media yesterday.
“The commission is confident we will in no way see a repeat of 2009. The ballots have already been printed, the photo register is already printed, so we are all set and confident the elections will be free and fair.”
She added, “All the supplies are in order, so we have the ink, the seals, the ballot boxes and our returning officers and presiding officers and poll clerks and tally clerks are ready.”
About eight months ago the commission began a mass registration process but the Register of Electors was published only last month.
In light of the delay, doubt had been raised by a number of residents and the opposition Antigua & Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) that ABEC would not have been ready to execute the process.
But Harewood George said: “We did it. We published the Preliminary list of electors, we’ve gone through the claims and objections and appellate process and printed Register of Electors and then the Register for Elections. The process has now come full circle and we hope electorate comes out on Thursday in great numbers on Thursday to exercise their franchise in Antigua & Barbuda’s 2014 general elections. We are ready.”
Meanwhile, yesterday, Harewood George said that in order to avert any confusion on polling day, each polling district will be outfitted with an Information Centre where electors may obtain information about where they should go to vote, what they must do and any other questions related to the process.
And, on the issue of lost voter ID cards, the ABEC PRO said provisions have been made, up to midday, today, for people to visit the commission’s office on Queen Elizabeth Highway to submit a passport-sized photograph and re-apply for a new card.
Additionally, people who have lost receipts need to go in person to the commission for a new receipt and later to collect their ID cards.
On Election Day, Harewood George said, those who have not yet collected ID cards, can do so at the registration centres between 8:30 am and 4 pm.
Antigua & Barbuda Elections Coverage
Welcome to the Antigua Elections web site, a site designed to provide a wealth of information about elections in Antigua & Barbuda.
The site will be continually updated to ensure you are well informed. We have profiles of current candidates and party manifestos.
The section on Voter Education is particularly interesting. It includes information related to party symbols, ballot information and an overview of voting procedures. Of course, the site would not be complete without historical data on past elections. View our charts and graphs comparing election results over the years.