Organisation : Guyana Elections Commission
Facility : Mode of voting
Country : Guyana
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Mode of voting :
Section 81 of the Representation of the People Act (Cap. 1:03) states :
(1) The presiding officer shall by demonstration by the use of a specimen ballot paper ensure that the elector understands how and where to place his mark (without indicating that the elector should vote for any particular list of candidates) and how to fold the ballot paper and shall direct him to return with it when marked, folded as shown.
(2) The elector shall enter one of the polling compartments and there record his vote by secretly marking his ballot paper within the space opposite the name and symbol of the list of candidates for whom he wishes to vote and shall then fold his ballot paper so as to conceal the vote; and if he has been appointed to vote as a proxy he shall record the vote of the elector on whose behalf he had been so appointed, for the list of candidates for whom that elector wishes to vote by secretly marking, in the manner aforesaid, the ballot paper issued to him for that elector and shall then similarly fold that ballot paper.
(3) The elector shall, having recorded his vote (and if such be the case that of an elector for whom he has been appointed a proxy), show the folded ballot paper (or papers) to the presiding officer so as to disclose the official mark appearing on the reverse thereof and shall place it (or them) so folded in the ballot box in the presence of the presiding officer:
Provided that the presiding officer shall not permit any elector whether voting on his own behalf or as a proxy on behalf of another elector to put a ballot paper in the ballot box unless, immediately before he does so, one of is fingers has been stained by immersion in a container of electoral ink.
(4) Notwithstanding the proviso to subsection (3), where the presiding officer is satisfied that an elector is suffering from an injury to any finger of such a nature as to render it undesirable for that finger to be stained with electoral ink, he shall not require that finger to be stained but shall stain another finger.
(5) If an electoral fails or refuses to comply with a lawful requirement of the presiding officer for the staining of one of his fingers, the presiding officer shall order him to return to him any ballot paper issued to him and to leave the polling place forthwith; and the presiding officer shall destroy any ballot paper so returned and make an entry in the poll book as to the facts of such failure or refusal.
(6) An elector who refuses or fails to return a ballot paper when so ordered under subsection (5) shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of thirty-two thousand five hundred dollars or to imprisonment for six months.
(7) An elector who has inadvertently dealt with a ballot paper in such a manner that it cannot conveniently be used as a valid ballot paper may, on delivering such ballot paper to the presiding officer and after satisfying him that it has been spoiled by inadvertence, obtain another ballot paper in its place and the spoiled ballot paper and its counterfoil shall be marked as cancelled.
(8) An elector shall not show the marks which he has placed on his ballot paper to any person and if he does so the ballot paper shall be treated as a spoiled ballot paper:
Provided that this subsection shall not apply if an elector shows a ballot paper to a presiding office solely for the purpose of ascertaining if he has carried out his duties correctly.
(9) An elector shall vote without delay and shall leave the polling place as soon as he has put his ballot paper and that of any person on whose behalf he has voted as a proxy in the ballot box.
(10) Whenever in the opinion of the presiding officer an elector does not understand the language spoken to him he may appoint and swear, in Form 20, an interpreter; and the interpreter, so sworn, shall be the means of communication between the presiding officer and the elector with regard to all matters required to enable the elector to vote.
Blind and incapacitated electors :
Section 82 of the Representation of the People Act (Cap. 1:03) states :
(1) The presiding officer shall, on the application of any elector who is incapacitated by blindness or other physical cause from voting in the manner prescribed by section 81 and who takes an oath in Form 21, mark the ballot paper of such elector in his presence and in the manner directed by him.
(2) The presiding officer may, at the request of any elector incapacitated in the manner prescribed in subsection (1) and who has taken the oath in Form 21 and is accompanied by a friend who has taken the oath in Form 22, permit such friend, if he is an elector entitled to vote at the polling place, immediately after he has voted on his own behalf, and notwithstanding that his finger has been immersed in electoral ink, to accompany the elector into the voting compartment and mark his ballot paper for him:
Provided that no person may mark the ballot paper of more than one elector as his friend under this subsection or mark such ballot paper unless he first takes an oath in the form prescribed.
(3) Whenever the ballot paper of an elector has been marked in accordance with this section, the poll clerk shall enter in the poll book opposite the name of the elector the fact that the ballot paper wa so marked, the reason therefore and, if marked by a friend, the name and the number in the official list of electors of that friend.
Tendered ballot papers :
Section 83 of the Representation of the People Act (Cap. 1:03) states :
(1) If an applicant to vote represents himself to be an elector whose name appears on the official list of electors or part thereof for a polling place and there has already been placed a mark against the name of such elector on the presiding officer’s copy of such list or part thereof, the presiding officer shall issue to such applicant a tendered ballot paper it –
** the applicant hands to him his identity paper;
** the applicant takes an oath of identity in the form prescribed; and
** the presiding officer is satisfied as to the matters set out in section 79(1).
(2) A tendered ballot paper shall not be put in the ballot box but shall be given to the presiding officer and endorsed by him with the name of the elector and his number in the official list of electors; and the tendered ballot paper shall be set aside in a separate packet and shall not be counted by the turning officer.
(3) The poll clerk shall enter in the poll book the name of every elector to whom a tendered ballot paper is given and a note of his having marked such a ballot paper.
Voter identification :
Section 84 of the Representation of the People Act (Cap. 1:03) states :
The presiding officer shall, in the event of his needing to be satisfied of the identity of any elector whose name is on the official list of electors accepted in lieu of the prescribed identity paper such other identification as is authorized by the Commission and entailing the same stringency for its generation as to leave no doubt as to its authenticity as in the case of the identity paper and permit an elector to vote in the same manner as if his identity paper had been produced.”
Entries in poll book :
Section 85 of the Representation of the People Act (Cap. 1:03) states :
The poll clerks hall :
** make in the poll book such entries as are required by this Act or directed by the presiding officer;
** enter in the poll book the word “SWORN” opposite the name of each elector to whom any oath is administered and “REFUSED TO BE SWORN” or ‘REFUSED TO ANSWER” opposite the name of each elector who has refused to take an oath or who has refused to answer any question when legally so required.
Maintenance of secrecy at polling place :
Section 86 of the Representation of the People Act (Cap. 1:03) states :
(1) Every person specified in section 89(1)(b) attending the polling place shall maintain and aid in maintaining the secrecy of the voting and shall not, except for a purpose authorized by law, communicate to any person before the poll is closed any information at to
** the name of any elector who has or has not applied for a ballot paper or voted whether on his own behalf of as a proxy on behalf of another elector;
** the number in the official list of electors of any elector who, or whose proxy on his behalf, has or has not applied for a ballot paper or voted;
** the official mark.
(2) No person shall :
** except in the performance of his duty under this Act interfere with or attempt to interfere with an elector when casting his vote or, as a proxy, that of another elector;
** obtain or attempt to obtain in a polling place information as to the list of candidates for whom an elector in that polling place is about to vote or has voted either on his own behalf or as a proxy on behalf of another elector;
** communicate at any time to any person any information obtained in a polling place as to the list of candidates for whom an elector in that polling place is about to vote or has voted either on his own behalf or as a proxy on behalf of another elector;
** directly or indirectly induce an elector to display his ballot paper or that of another elector for whom he has voted as a proxy after he has marked it, so as to make known the list of candidates for whom he has or has not voted either on his own behalf or on behalf of an elector for whom he has voted as a proxy.
(3) No person having undertaken to assist an elector incapacitated by blindness or other physical cause to vote shall communicate at any time to any person any information as to the list of candidates for whom that elector intends to vote or has voted.
(4) Any person who contravenes any of the provisions of this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of sixty-five thousand dollars and to imprisonment for six month