Jamaicans vote for new government


More than 1.8 million Jamaicans are eligible to vote.


KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thursday February 25, 2016 – Jamaicans are voting for a new government today, as electoral officials disclose they are probing the circumstances surrounding the posting of a photograph of a marked ballot on social media.

The Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) said in a statement yesterday that it had been made aware of the photo of the ballot cast in the constituency of Trelawny Northern, during Monday’s early voting for members of the security forces and Election Day workers.

It shows an “X” beside the candidate for the ruling People’s National Party (PNP), Victor Wright, who is going up against Dennis Meadows of the main opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).

Meadows said in a post on Twitter that he had written to the Director of Elections on the matter.

In its statement issued yesterday, the ECJ reminded all Returning Officers, Presiding Officers and Poll Clerks to “be vigilant in ensuring that recording devices are not used in polling stations and the activities of voters are closely monitored”.

It also reminded voters that if they use cellular phones, digital cameras or any other devices to capture the image of a marked ballot, they are committing a criminal offence and are liable, if convicted, to a fine of up to J$80,000 (US$661) or up to five years in jail.

More than 1.8 million Jamaicans are registered to vote in today’s general elections.

They are casting their ballots at more than 7,000 polling stations across the country. The polls opened at 7 a.m. and will close at 5 p.m.

The elections are being monitored by observer missions from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organization of American States (OAS).

Polls predict a tight race between the PNP and the JLP.

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