Come May 11 when you step into that booth at your respective polling station your vote is just between you and the Supreme Being – no one will know which Party or parties you voted for. So just for the sake of clarity, I took the opportunity to scramble together a list of things you need to know for Elections day just so you can Vote Like A Boss
- Be careful how you mark your ballot. The only sign accepted by the Guyana Elections Commission is that of a “X.” Any other mark(s) on your ballot paper will render the ballot to an unusable state (spoilt or rejected). See the illustration below for instructions on how to vote mark your X.
- If it so happens that you spoil your ballot paper, don’t worry too much. You can ask the Presiding Officer at the polling station for another ballot.
- Elections Day staff should show you how to fold your ballot paper in such a way that when you approach the ballot box to cast your vote, the party of parties that you have voted for will in no way be visible by any of the workers.
- You can choose to vote for one party for general elections and choose another party in the regional elections. N.B some parties are only contesting the Regional polls.
- If you don’t have your identification card, you can still vote. There are other ways of verifying you are who you claim to be.
- Poll begins at 6:00hrs and goes until 18:00hrs. The polling station only closes until the last person who is in the line at 18:00hrs casts his or her ballot. N.B At 18:00hrs a member of the armed forces (police or soldier) will stand behind the last person in the queue.
- At this stage, the Presiding Officer is supposed to declare the polling station closed. Subsequently that person is to prepare a statement of poll and hang it outside of his or her polling station. The statement of polls shows the results of the elections for that polling station, not the polling place or the country.
You have a right to vote, I am not going to give you the overused rhetoric and grandiloquence that its your civic duty and blah blah blah.
No, its your entitlement, its your choice. Just ensure that whatever choice you make, you will live with it for the next five years or until there is another elections in Guyana.
The fact is, we can complain all we like about politicians and the state of the country but when it comes to voting its fair to say that we, as young people, are not the most active of participants, many of us don’t even bother voting in elections and wonder what the point of it all is. Yet people have campaigned for generations to give the citizens of Guyana a free and fair vote; people have even given their lives through movements such as the suffragettes, by not voting it almost seems a little disrespectful and a waste.
But I implore you all of you regardless of your ethnicity, don’t vote race. Don’t vote for any party because mommy or daddy or whoever told you to vote. Read the manifestos, know what the parties are about and make your vote an informed voted. Vote for you.
On May 11, power resides in the hands of the Guyanese electorate and you are that electorate.