Wed | Aug 16, 2017

Determined to vote

Published:Saturday | February 27, 2016 | 2:04 AM
Omar Jolly shows off his recently inked finger. The 25-year-old was one of a few youths from the Bamboo community who turned out to cast their ballots on election day.

Hanover

Although Omar Jolly is confined to a wheelchair, through a disability from birth which makes him unable to walk, the 25-year-old resident of Bamboo district, near Hopewell in Eastern Hanover, wheeled himself to the polling station at the Bamboo Missionary Basic School, to cast his ballot for the Peoples National Party (PNP).

"The reason why I come out to cast my vote is because I feel that PNP is the better party. When PNP is in power you have more work, more money. I get more work," he said.

"I do gardener work and I raise chicken. So I have more work more money the goods get to sell in PNP time. This is the second time I am voting. The first time I voted things was slow. There was a money crisis," he added.

But Jolly is only one of a few young men from Bamboo who turned out to cast their ballots.

Most young men within the community were spotted chilling in community bars and chatting with friends. Shortly before 2 p.m., policemen passing were spotted ordering a bar operator, via megaphone to close his business and for patrons to leave as it was an offence for it to be open on election.

Former Rusea's High School football team captain, Wonique 'Shelly' Pinnock, 24, who hails from Bamboo, told The Gleaner that voter apathy was high in the community among the male population including himself.

"There was no valid reason for me to go out and vote," Pinnock said. "Look at a simple thing like running water. Bamboo had no water for about two years. It was only recently that we are getting water."

Claudia Gardner