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Electoral Commission concerned about large number of Jamaicans saying they will not vote

Published:Wednesday | February 24, 2016 | 3:03 PM

The independent members of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) are expressing concern about what they say is the unacceptably large number of enumerated persons who say they will not vote in the General Election tomorrow.

In a statement published in The Gleaner today, the ECJ members have urged electors from every strata of society to go out and vote, saying it is good for Jamaica and democracy.

The ECJ notes that public opinion polls indicate that close to 50 per cent of the electorate will not vote.

It says this is in contrast to the 1970s and 80s when voter turnout peaked in the region of 80 per cent.

The ECJ says although there has been an increase in voter apathy globally, no one, including the political parties and civil society, should be proud of the current statistics locally.

It’s urging the church, civil society groups and professional associations to encourage those on the voters’ list to exercise their franchise.

It says the ECJ, the police and other stakeholders will do everything possible to guarantee that electors vote freely and in an orderly manner.

Meanwhile, the ECJ says it has an adequate number of election day workers, ballots, ink, ballot boxes and equipment in place to ensure a well-run election.