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#JaVotes2020 | COVID-19 protocols lengthen voting in St. James South

Published:Thursday | September 3, 2020 | 8:26 AMMark Titus - Gleaner Writer


Voting is off to a brisk start in St James Southern, where Mayor of Montego Bay, Homer Davis, of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and retired educator, Dr Walton Small, of the People’s National Party (PNP) are facing off for the right to become the next Member of Parliament for the constituency.


27,506 Jamaicans are eligible to vote in this highly anticipated contest to replace retired former MP Derrick Kellier, who won the seat for seven consecutive terms since 1989.

There are long lines at the polling stations visited by The Gleaner in the Cambridge and Maroon Town divisions, as voters sought to cast their vote early. 

"The COVID-19 protocol is making it a bit longer to vote, and there are so many persons waiting, plus there is an issue with parking, so I will have to return in the afternoon, but I will certainly be voting," said Elaine Wood, a voter at the Mount Carey Basic School.

With inclement weather expected in the afternoon, some voters say they are prepared to wait to ensure that the rain does not affect their chance to cast their ballot.

The St James Southern constituency is divided into four divisions, with the JLP controlling Maroon Town, Welcome Hall and Cambridge, while Catadupa was being represented by the PNP’s Gladstone Bent, who was suspended from the Davis-led St James Municipal Corporation after missing three consecutive council meetings.

This is Davis’s third try at the seat, after losing to Kellier by 1,072 votes in 2011 and a mere 62 votes in 2016.

Both Small and Davis have expressed confidence in winning the seat when the ballots are counted.

St James Southern


PNP – Walton Small

JLP – Homer Davis


PNP – Derrick Kellier - 6,278

JLP – Homer Davis - 6,216

NDM – Astor G Black - 43

MGPPP – Joseph Hilton - 34

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