Source: Jamaica Gleaner
Frustration ruled supreme at several polling stations in St James Central during the midday hours, as several persons who turned up left without voting because of the length of time it was taking to be processed before they could exercise their franchise.
Based on information gathered by The Gleaner, the delays were attributed to factors such as the strict implementation of the COVID-19 measures as well as the failure of many voters to show up with proper identification, which slowed down the verification process considerably.
Andre Hylton, the People’s National Party (PNP) candidate, who is seeking to snatch the seat from the incumbent Heroy Clarke, the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) standard-bearer, said while his voting exercise went smoothly, he was getting reports about the mounting frustration, especially among the older folks who found it quite challenging to be out in the sun for long periods waiting for their turn.
“I know it’s a bit difficult, but I would urge them to exercise as much patience as possible. It is important for them to exercise their franchise because it will determine their immediate future as it relates to governance,” said Hylton, who cast his first ballot in St James Central at the Porto Bello Community Centre.
Like Hylton, Clarke, too, was quite upset by the slow turnaround time for voters.
“It could be attributed to the whole COVID situation. You understand the protocols that have been put in place and have to be observed, and because of that, you find that the time for one person to vote takes a little bit longer than normal,” said Clarke.
Despite the frustration, both candidates, nonetheless, expressed much confidence that at the end of the day, they will walk away the winner.
St James Central
PNP – Andre Hylton
JLP – Heroy Clarke
PNP – Ashley-Ann Foster - 4,968
JLP – Heroy Clarke - 6,887
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