Officials deny Grenada ballot paper irregularities

The Parliamentary Electoral Office (POE) in Grenada has dismissed reports that inferior ballot papers are being used in today’s general election.

Many voters had called into the Grenada Broadcasting Network to complain that there were at least “two or three different types of paper” being used to mark the ballots at some of the 264 polling stations across the country.

But the POE civic and education officer Ferdinand Phillip, speaking on GBN, said “from the office standpoint we want to refute that categorically.

“It is one quality of ballot paper that was made available to the general public and that is being used today.

“Yes we understand the concerns that persons may have but we have supplied one quality of ballot paper that is of such a standard that I heard the callers use the word flimsy, and definitely the ballot paper is not flimsy.

“It is of a good quality material and once it is folded properly persons cannot see for whom you voted. We want persons to be aware of that.”

He said he expects the results of the polls, which closes at 5pm (local time) to be “very soon after” adding all the measures will be taken to ensure a free and fair election here.

“I want persons to be aware [and] we cannot emphasis this enough that agents of the candidates representing the parties are there observing everything that the presiding officer sees. Whatever he sees, the agents will see, every single thing”.

At least 78,222 people are eligible to vote in the election where 45 candidates, including three independents, representing seven political parties are seeking control of the 15-member Parliament.

Political observers say the poll is a straight fight between the incumbent New National Party of Prime Minister Keith Mitchell and the National Democratic Congress, headed by a former finance minister Nazim Burke.

In the last general election, the NNP won all 15 seats and Mitchell told reporters soon after casting his vote that he was “confident” of victory.

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