P.U.P. Pickstock mad about polling station change
P.U.P. Pickstock Standard Bearer, Dr. Francis Smith, expressed outrage earlier today over changes in polling stations in the constituency for the March seventh general elections. According to Smith, voters previously polled at the Belize Technical College, now the ITVET Building on Freetown Road and the Belize City Center. Following the conclusion of a national re-districting exercise in 2005, Pickstock, arguably the smallest constituency in the country, was extended across Haulover Creek into parts of what was once Lake Independence. Since the 2008 General Elections the number of registered voters in Pickstock has increased to three thousand, two hundred. On March seventh, those voters will utilize St. Luke’s Methodist School, the only polling station for that area as agreed by the Elections & Boundaries Commission. Smith says the Pickstock is the only constituency with one polling station and bussing constituents across town to participate in the dual elections will pose an inconvenience that will unfavorably affect voter turnout. He accused the Election and Boundaries office and the incumbent, Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington of blatant collusion.
Francis Smith, P.U.P. Standard Bearer, Pickstock
“The people of Pickstock North Side, Polling Area Six, are accustomed to voting on that side at what was previously known as the Belize Technical College. So although I’ve been doing quite a lot of work trying to inform them that there is now only one polling station I am a bit alarmed by the protest that people don’t want to be inconvenienced. They are insisting that there be a polling area on North Side and I think that is reasonable, especially at this time where skepticism seems to be at an all-time high and they’re predicting a low voter turnout. I believe that the Elections & Boundaries Department should be professional and their job is to make sure democracy remains alive and healthy in Belize. From New Road or North Front Street all the way to Mahogany Street is a bit unreasonable.”
“Do you feel as though this would adversely affect the turnout of voting on your behalf on March seventh?”
“I believe so. It’s all about convenience for the voters. I decided to do this because at first I thought well it’s no big deal, people can take a bit of inconvenience but again I am doing this because there is a lot of protesting from the North Side. People are accustomed to going to the Belize Technical College and they are pointing out that there are places like the Central Assembly of [God], the Christian school on the North Side, or the church that’s on Cran Street and Mapp. There’s also a place there that we could use.”
“Have you taken this concern to the Elections & Boundaries Department and have they responded to this particular issue?”
“I have. I called the Returning Officer Ms. Icilda Humes and she referred me to Ms. Tamai, who was not in office, so I spoke to Mr. Francisco Zuniga and he has promised that he would take the matter up and then as soon as they make a decision they would give me a reply.”Email This Story