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Feb 28, 2003

Youths will serve as election info officers

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On March fifth, several thousand Belizeans have to work all day, and to be sure, most of the night. But exactly one hundred and one of that number–youths from all over the country–have elected to do their civic duty by acting as information officers. Coordinated through the Youth for the Future initiative, the young people are being briefed on key points in Belize’s electoral process. According to Yvonne Codd, a Human Development Coordinator from the Youth Department, the young men and women’s responsibilities will include, but will not be limited to, giving voters directions and answering any questions that may arise.

Yvonne Codd, Human Development Coordinator, Youth Dept.

“They will typically be able to identify what polling areas these persons would be able to go to. And I guess they would be acting…having information about all the different persons involved in the election process, like the election officers. We have the returning officer, what the returning officer is charged to do, the presiding officer, the poll clerk or the counting clerk. Probably they could just give a little bit of information on the responsibilities of each of these persons and what would probably happen when they actually go in to vote. They would have to make sure that their ballots are signed by a presiding officer, or else the ballot isn’t valid. Different tidbits like that they would be able to share with these people.”

“If they don’t dip their hands in the ink, then they won’t be able to get a ballot paper to vote because they haven’t gone through the whole systematic process of voting. And also, when they are voting, how many persons they would be voting for in the municipal and general elections, all those types of information are valuable information for these people to know.”

According to Codd, the young men and women will be paid fifty dollars for their service.

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