The People’s United Party in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye today is looking into legal options and working along with its headquarters to come up with a plan of action regarding discrepancies in voter numbers in the Belize Rural South municipality. The PUP Secretariat has suggested a recount and the UDP Secretariat is neither accepting or rejecting the suggestion.
According to returning officer Cumberbatch's information, when you add up the mayoral candidates numbers you get a total of 5296 votes. However, the total votes casted according to the Elections and Boundaries website is 5134. After noticing a discrepancy of 162 votes, the PUP immediately stood up to get answers.
Cumberbatch explained that the simple explanation to the discrepancy is that the Election and Boundaries website was not updated with the official and final voter’s numbers, resulting in the extra 162 votes that arised. Her final hourly tallies at the end of election day were not given to Election and Boundaries to update their figures due to the fact that people werw still voting and that the boxes were still being counted after the polling stations were closed at 6p.m. She stated that once those figures are updated the discrepancy can be identified and adjusted.
Members of both political parties spent the entire afternoon at the Election and Boundaries in San Pedro going over the numbers presented to them by the returning officer. We understand that the PUP is leaning towards calling for a recount, but are still discussing their legal options as they believe that the discrepancies have raised some doubts in the process of vote counting. They have also indicated that today their numbers are off, compared to that of the returning officer from when they signed off at the end of election day.
San Pedro PUP Mayoral Candidate Andre Perez visits Election and Boundaries Office in San Pedro
The Elections and Boundaries Department issued a statement on the concerns raised in relation to the voter turn out for the San Pedro Town Council Election and indicated that the Department wishes to assure the general public that the official result of the San Pedro Town Council Election has not yet been released by the Elections and Boundaries Department. This information will only be released upon receipt of the official forms from the Returning Officer and after all figures have been checked and verified for accuracy.
The information that is presently available on the Elections and Boundaries Department website (www.elections.gov.bz) in relation to the San Pedro Town Council is the hourly count figures which the department receives at one hour intervals during polling. This information is shared with the public to keep them updated on the number of persons who have voted within an hour and is in no way to be interpreted as the official number of persons who vote in the election. This is due to the fact that at time of receiving the information, it is likely that persons are still waiting in line to cast their vote. As mentioned, no official result will be released until official documentation is presented to the Elections and Boundaries Department and checked for accuracy.
Late in the evening, Ambergris Today was told that the official voter number stands at 5684. That figure is suppose to be updated tomorrow on the website. We shall keep you updated on the developments of this issue and the PUP's decision on what procedures the party will follow.