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OAS suggests electoral improvements

Published: Friday December 30, 2011 | 5:24 pm Comments 0
Head of the OAS observer mission, Lisa Shoman- Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer
Head of the OAS observer mission, Lisa Shoman- Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer

Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer

The election observer mission from the Organisation of American States (OAS) has recommended that Jamaica’s electoral authorities take more care in selecting venues for polling stations.

Head of the OAS observer mission, Lisa Shoman, says there was inadequate spacing at some polling stations.

She says in some situations the closeness of polling stations contributed to the bottlenecks that slowed down the voting process yesterday.

Shoman also noted with concern that some polling stations only had one door which was used for both entering and exiting.

She said this could have been dangerous had any emergency situation arisen.

Shoman says the some pregnant women, the elderly and disabled had a hard time getting to some polling stations which were located up flights of stairs.

However, despite the concerns, the OAS team has given Jamaica high marks for the conduct of yesterday's general elections.

Shoman says the organisation’s preliminary findings indicate that the transition of power was orderly and calm.

She says she is satisfied with some of the advances in the electoral process in Jamaica.

The mission is expected to present a more detailed report to the OAS permanent council in Washington DC, in the United States, by early next year.

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