Security forces and Election Day workers vote

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English: Ballot Box showing preferential voting

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The polls will open on Thursday for members of the security forces and Election Day workers to cast their ballots ahead of the December 29 General Election. The Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) says more than 30,000 persons are eligible to vote. Voting will begin at 8 o'clock and end at 4 o'clock. A total of 25,396 Election Day workers, 8,211 policemen and women, and 2,098 soldiers can cast their votes on Thursday in 225 locations islandwide. Under the Representation of the People Act, provisions are made for the military and police, as well as Election Day Workers, to vote three clear days before the general election, to ensure that they are available for duty on that day. Their names have therefore been separated from the official Voters' List to be used on Election Day. Christin Senior, Public Education Officer at the ECJ, explains that they will vote in locations in which they are based, and the ballots later transferred. "The voting procedure for them is the same as regular procedure except that they place their ballots in sealed envelopes that we don't open. When the envelopes come back to us on Thursday night what we will do is sort those ballots and place them in boxes for the respective constituencies. Come regular Election Day next week, these ballots will be delivered to the respective Returning Officers and there is a designated polling station with a ballot box that these ballots will be deposited in," Ms Senior said. She warned that if they do not get to vote on Thursday, they will be barred from doing so on December 29. "Police, military and Election Day workers names have been removed from the civilian list. The civilian list is the list that will be used on December 29, so if they turn up on December 29 and they go to the polling station their names will not be on that list, they must vote today, there is no other choice, no other option," she said. She encouraged those who are unsure, or who have not received notices to call the EOJ toll free helpline at 1-888-991-VOTE to find out their voting locations. In a recent issue of the Police Force Order, Commissioner Owen Ellington, cautioned members of the force, to exercise their democratic rights in a responsible manner, displaying the utmost respect for the electoral process, and maintaining the highest level of professionalism. He instructed divisional commanders, islandwide, to ensure that members are facilitated in casting their ballots and returning to duties.

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