THE CHAOS OF THE ADVANCED POLL

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9 September 2021

There were some 19,500 voters who registered to vote on the advanced poll day in The Bahamas for both voting here and overseas. It is quite simple.  Since the law says that there are to be some 400 voters for each polling division, then it should be simple math and logistics to organize by dividing 19.5k by 400 and you get the number of polling stations you need.  You also have a formula for how many booths you need. Same thing, simple math. It appears, however, that simple math was not taught to the FNM and its government managed election machinery. When people showed up to the polls, the simple process of democracy met long lines, crowds, arbitrary rules, missed names from the list.  You name it, it went wrong.  At the C I Gibson School where Fox Hill was located , the police made up arbitrary rules requiring people to be vaccinated or have a negative pcr test to get into the place.  No idea where the rule came from but the Commissioner of Police soon set that right.  However, it went downhill from there with the police closing their eyes to the excesses of the  FNM and their candidates harassing people on the lines and  the police showing tendentious behaviour toward PLPs who were exercising their right to stand outside the poll.  So if Thursday 9 September is anything to go by, and nothing changes, there will be chaos at the polls next week.  PLP party chair Senator Fred Mitchell said that it was clear that the Prime Minister called this election without thinking about what had to be ready in order to successfully carry out the process.