Saturday, February 24, 2018

Boy, 14, cast ballot in poll, claims Team Penny

A 14-year-old boy successfully voted in the People’s National Movement’s (PNM) internal elections held yesterday, Team Penny has claimed.

Team Penny, led by Pennelope Beckles-Robinson, has launched an official complaint about this situation, which they described as an “egregious offence”.

This is one of several voting irregularities Team Penny claimed to have taken place in the PNM’s first “one man, one vote” internal elections.

One of the highlights was the battle between Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley and Beckles-Robinson for the leadership of the party.

Team Penny issued a release entitled, “Voting irregularities abound at PNM internal election”.

In the build-up to the elections, Team Penny claimed that the names of many would-be voters were missing from the “final voters’ list”.

“The ‘final’ final list was issued only (Saturday), the day before the elections, by the PNM Elections Supervisory Committee. And PNM members turning up at various polling stations to vote, whose names were on the preliminary list, are finding that their names are not on the final list,” the release stated.

“Ronald Boynes, candidate for general secretary on the Team Penny slate, has said over 40 persons have been barred from voting in his Toco/Sangre Grande constituency, several of whom he personally registered using the numbered membership forms prescribed by the Murchison Brown-led Elections Supervisory Committee,” it stated.

Team Penny claimed voter turnout was “extremely low” in the Moruga, Princes Town, Oropouche, St Augustine and San Fernando West constituencies.

There was a high voter turnout in Beckles-Robinson’s home constituency of Arima, the release stated.

“While canvassing is strictly prohibited under the rules laid down by the PNM Elections Supervisory Committee, canvassing by the Rowley slate has also been an issue at several polling stations. Voters at the La Horquetta polling station were being handed a card listing the entire Rowley slate with pre-printed ‘X’s in the appropriate boxes,” the release stated.

“And in a particularly egregious offence, a 14-year-old boy with the surname Thomas, whose name actually appeared on the voters list, was allowed to vote. Team Penny has lodged an official complaint on this and several other issues with the PNM Elections Supervisory Committee,” the release stated.