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#501781 - 03/04/15 11:58 AM People Get Ready….For Election!
Marty Offline
On Wednesday 105 thousand 634 voters across the country will go to the polls in nine cities and towns. They will select 67 municipal leaders from a field of 163 candidates. And while the politicians are tonight oiling up their machinery - the election is really run by a government department backed up by a little over two thousand public officers. They will be deployed from early tomorrow morning to set things up, ensuring that the balloting and counting process runs smoothly - and that it results in a free and fair election.

This evening, the media spoke with the chief elections officer who told us that everything is in its right place for the voter to have a glitch free experience:..

Josephine Tamai, Chief Elections Officer
"In terms of logistics, tomorrow is the 4th March and tomorrow we have 9 municipalities going into municipal elections. I can say that the Election and Boundaries Department - we are ready for elections. All elections material has been distributed countrywide. Actually, we are just waiting for tomorrow. For tomorrow, we have the 9 municipalities; we have 2 cities and 7 towns going into the elections. The total number of registered voters for the entire country of Belize in terms of municipality is 105,634 registered voters."

"I want to encourage all persons who are registered to come out and vote on election day. Come out and cast your ballots very early, so that you don't get into the rush. I also want to advise the public that it's not mandatory that you take your voters ID card for you to vote. We take other forms of identification card as well, but the process will take a little bit longer if you don't take your voters identification card. Because at that point the presiding officer will need to ask you questions or establish that you are indeed that person who is there."

And so while that is what's going to happen for the election day - what most of us want to know is when we'll hear the first results. Typically, smaller towns like Punta Gorda come in first, but Belize City, with its ten divisions being counted individually could be even faster than that! Tamai was conservative in her projection of when you can expect to hear the first out-turns:..

Josephine Tamai, Chief Elections Officer
"It will vary according to municipality, because we have like I mentioned in terms of Belize City, which is the largest in comparison to Punta Gorda, which is the smallest. For the smaller ones, the results should be out pretty quickly, but again, in terms of the number of candidates, because like I said, in terms of the splits, things have changed from over the past."

And while politicians and the public will be waiting eagerly for those results - tomorrow, the voters will have to navigate a political minefield. Both mass parties intend to smother every inch of available surface area with political signage. But what does this mean for that hundred yard barrier - the area within which the voter should be free from harassment, and political messaging? Well, in recent elections, it seems that it's becoming harder to govern what should be an inviolable space. Today Tamai said that the returning officers and police should make sure no political mischief occurs - but there's only so much they can do:..

Josephine Tamai, Chief Elections Officer
"In terms of the 100 yards line, the law requires that we maintain the 100 yards line. And we know that no campaigning or anything of that sort within that 100 yards line. So, what I will say is that the returning officers are the persons who are responsible to ensure that that 100 yards line is maintained. Anything outside of that 100 yards line is the responsibility of the police officers, to ensure that they deal with whatever situation that may arise outside of the 100 yards line. In some instances, yes the law states about 100 yards. But in some instances because of the location of the 100 yards line, it might fall within somebody's private property, so you are limited in certain areas depending on where the 100 yards line lies."

And, finally, the Chief addressed the issue raised by the Opposition PUP. They objected to the way the count for the Belize City council will be managed. In the past all the ballot boxes would be taken to the ITVET building where there would be a mass count. But, this year, as in 2009, the boxes will be counted at the polling station - making for a quicker count. But the PUP says it is illegal because the returning officer Hugo Miranda should personally unseal the boxes and directly oversee the counting. Today the Chief elections officer said the PUP never made any objection when her office sent out the notice in mid-February.

Josephine Tamai, Chief Elections Officer
"I have responded to a letter written by the People's United Party on the 9th February, raising some of the same concerns that I believe you are referring to, where those issues were addressed, in addition to other issues. So, before anybody to say that we did not consult, we just went ahead and made the decision and I will also go further and tell you that on the 17th February to the parties, we submitted the list of polling and counting stations and nobody gave any feedback, gave any comment to say I do not agree with this or agree with that. By law, we have to publish our stations. So, not hearing from them, we have to take it as if though they are in agreement. Because like I said, we have deadlines in terms of meeting newspapers, in terms of doing anything."

Presently, the UDP controls six out of 9 municipalities. The last time an opposition faced a two-term government in 2006 - they swept the municipals.

Channel 7


The Pulse of the People On the Eve of Municipal Elections

With the polls scheduled to open in less than twelve hours, the countdown begins as to who will take the sixty-seven seats in the nine municipalities. Today, News Five took to the streets of downtown Belize City to hear from residents if they have already made up their minds on their choice for mayor and councilors for the Old Capital. Interestingly, for most of the residents, issues affecting their communities topped their list as the deciding factor for voting.

Duane Moody

“What has guided the decision that you are going to make?”

Resident

“Well what has guided my decision is the track record of both political parties. So I already know who I will vote for.”

Duane Moody

“Are you voting for issues, political colors? There are different things that people vote for when they do go to the polls.”

Resident

“When I vote, I vote for the future of my nation. I noh vote fi party nor for color. I vote for the future of my people.”

Resident

“I noh di vote. I can’t vote. I register dah Hattieville so I noh vote here.”

Duane Moody

“But if you were, what would you normally vote for?”

Resident

“Oh, P.U.P. all the way.”

Duane Moody

“Not for issues happening in the city, in your area?”

Resident

“P.U.P.”

Duane Moody

“Elections are tomorrow. Have you already decided as to who you are going to vote for?”

Resident

“Yes, I got my mind red-up.”

Duane Moody

“Now what’s making you decide to go red? Is it issues or just party color?”

Resident

“Just party color.”

Resident

“Bwai right now dehn ministers dehn noh do nothing for me so I noh got nobody fi vote for. I sorry and dehn wah see me. I know dah mi rights, but tell them bring some money.”

Duane Moody

“But if you were going to vote, what would you vote for? Political party or issues that’s happening?”

Resident

“I would vote for issues weh di happen cause we want better ina fi we country. lotta we di take wah licking out yah and then all the crimes and thing and nobody noh di do nothing about it.”

Resident

“I don’t want to vote. I don’t want to vote.”

Duane Moody

“If you were going to vote, what would you focus on? Party color, issues?”

Resident

“I just want better for the country. it don’t go by red or blue; I just want better for the country.”

Duane Moody

“Sir have you decided who you are going to vote for this municipal elections?”

Resident

“Probably, but I will vote for who my area rep tell me to vote for.”

Duane Moody

“So you are not going to be voting for say issues; it’s going to be for party color?”

Resident

“Well yo wah follow yo area rep.; most people will do that. So what the area rep tells them to do.”

Resident

“Umm, yes I have.”

Duane Moody

“What was the factors that made you make that decision? Was it political colors, issues affecting the city, your community?”

Resident

“Well it’s mainly based on the issues affecting the community because if you look around in your country, you can see the things that need to be addressed right now, currently in the state. So those are really what gave me the final push as to say do this over than party.”

Channel 5


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#501817 - 03/04/15 08:05 PM Re: People Get Ready….For Election! [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Belizeans in 7 municipalities and 2 cities go to the election polls

The Polling Station has been divided alphabetically by surname into 14 polling areas such as A, B, Ca, Ce to Cu, D-F, G, H to J, M, N to O, P to Q, R, S, T to U and V to Z. Each area has been clearly marked to direct the voters in which polling area to go in order to cast their vote.

To make the voting process faster, electorates are being encouraged to bring along their Voter’s Identification (ID) Card. In the event that a voter does not have their voter’s ID, they can bring any form of picture ID, such as driver’s license, passport or Social Security Card, providing they are registered to vote in San Pedro Town. Voters who don’t have a form of identification form, but are registered to vote in San Pedro Town, can still cast their vote since their identity can be matched to the binders that are available.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun


Belizeans Head to Polling Stations on Election Day
The democratic wheel is in full process this morning as Belizeans head to the voting polls for Municipal Elections 2015. It is Elections Day, Wednesday, March 4, 2015, and seven towns and two cities around the country are geared up to exercise their rights to elect a new Town Council to run their communities for the period 2015 to 2018. In San Pedro, the polling stations located at the San Pedro High School, opened at 7a.m. and movement was pretty slow up to 9a.m. with very short lines, but the voting process was steadily on its way. Party supporters are definitely busy recruiting supporters and mobilizing their groups to scour the island for strong supporters and potential voters.


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