On Advanced Poll Day in The Bahamas 9 September 2021, some 19,500 people were registered to vote on that day. If they missed that day, they can still vote on Election Day 16 September. The point here is that they may well have to vote on that day because the 9 September was a study in absolute chaos. Clearly, this was an exercise that neither the Parliamentary Commissioner nor the Prime Minister were ready for. They made a complete cock up of the whole thing.
People in their 80s and 90s were having to sit or stand in lines for three hours or more to vote. One couple former High Commissioner Richard Demeritte and his wife Ruth stood in line from 8:15 a.m. which is shortly after the polls opened to 12:15 p.m. before they could cast their ballot, something that should take routinely five minutes.
Then there was the cock up of the names on the list. It used to be at one time that you simply showed up as a Defence Force or Police Officer and you got to vote on advanced poll day. This year, its seems that someone forgot to send the names of the police, prison and defence officers in droves, so many of them were not be able to vote on the 9 September and some will be disenfranchised on 16 September because they are stationed elsewhere on election day.
Two students in Washington D C fought with the officials in Washington for the right to vote on a white ballot for three hours because they had the certificate but were told that they did not make the list. They insisted and finally after three hours they were allowed to vote on a regular ballot.
Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham showed up at the advanced poll station to cast his vote. He was told that his name was not on the list. He went to the press and by Jove within hours that was all straight and he was allowed to vote.
At the C I Gibson School, the officer in charge told everyone that they, the voters, could not enter the polling place unless they had a negative pcr test or were fully vaccinated. There is no such rule. It took an order from the Commissioner of Police to make him stand down. But yet after that PLPs were harassed on the line and in the polling station by the officers.
Then presiding officers did not seem to know what to do: one of them put the voting card number on the back of the ballot, not lawful, effectively spoiling the ballot. Sad. Some thirty or so had that problem before it was discovered as wrong in law.
Then they were not allowing the boxes to be sealed before they left for storage overnight. Again not lawful but then hey who cares about law.
So yet in the face of all of this the Prime Minister ( and maybe he can say so because of it) goes down to Cat Island to say that he has been assured that the FNM won the advanced poll.
PLPs are convinced that he is tiefing the election. We just think this fellow our Prime Minister is in the weirdest and strangest of places called cloud cuckoo land. He must go.