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ABEC making final elections preparations

by Pointe Xpress
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The Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC) is getting ready for the final full week of activities with general elections just eight days away.

ABEC’s spokesman, Ian Hughes, said preparations are well in hand and that he is satisfied with the pace being made by the department.

Hughes said his staff has finished packing poll boxes with the supplies that Presiding Officers will need in the polling stations on election day. Included are items that are essential for the smooth operation of each polling station.

“These boxes have been packed and are ready for distribution by next Monday and Tuesday. All the supplies are these such as pencils, staple machines, scissors, and labels et cetera.

“What are not included are the ballots, the ink, the seal and the registers. These will be handed out on Election morning,” he explained.

With the ballot paper printing now complete, Hughes said emphasis has moved to completing the constituency transfers requested by voters and reissuing lost voter ID cards.

According to Hughes, a team from ABEC will travel to Barbuda today to process requests for replacement cards for voters there.

Meanwhile, ABEC is also preparing this week for the arrival of the election observer teams who will observe the 18th January polls.

The Commonwealth Secretariat team will arrive in Antigua and Barbuda today while the CARICOM observers are expected between Thursday and Friday.

At this point, Hughes estimates that ABEC is about a week ahead of schedule in its preparations for the upcoming elections.

Meanwhile, the first phase of training for election day workers ended last night with an assessment that more than one thousand applicants were required to complete. Once the test results have been evaluated, about seven hundred people will be engaged to work on election day.

These seven hundred people will man polling stations across the nation and assist with the voting process. They will also be required to undergo additional training before 18th January.

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