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Former assistant commissioner of police was lifted up the stairs to cast his vote

Published:Friday | February 26, 2016 | 2:00 AMEdmond Campbell
Supporters of both political parties assisting former senior cop V.G. McDaniel down two flights of stairs after voting yesterday at the Stony Hill Junior High School.

Young men who are supporters of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the People's National Party (PNP) joined hands today at the Stony Hill Junior High School in St Andrew to assist former Assistant Commissioner of Police V.G. McDaniel, who uses a wheelchair, to access Polling Station 61 to cast his ballot.

The former senior cop's daughter, Dr Carol McDaniel, was incensed that the Electoral Office of Jamaica did not make provision for the elderly and the disabled to vote at the polling stations located upstairs.

Dr McDaniel told The Gleaner that she was initially told by electoral officials that her father would not be able to exercise his franchise after "faithfully serving the country for more than 40 years". The senior cop, she said, always exercised his right to vote.

WILLINGNESS TO HELP

"We are not concerned about any political persuasion, they came from both parties, and though I have great disappointment in the process, I am heartened at the assistance offered by the young men."

Continuing, Dr McDaniel said Jamaicans of different political persuasions "refused to take money from me for the assistance they offered.

"I am greatly heartened by the charity and the thoughtfulness - their willingness to help an elderly person to exercise his inalienable right to vote."

She argued that the process was devoid of enough thought and consideration for the disabled.

She thanked political liaison officer Claude Brown for approaching the young men for assistance to lift her dad up the stairs.

"I saw the distress. I saw that she was eager to get her father up the stairs and I went across the road and asked four gentlemen to assist me. They had already voted, but I spoke to the police officer and they allowed them inside to assist the gentleman upstairs," said Brown in a Gleaner interview.

Our news team also observed another elderly voter, Beryl Brown, who had to be lifted by the same young men to cast her ballot.

edmond.campbell@gleanerjm.com