Low turnout of Disciplined Services’ voters not unexpected

first_imgDear Editor,The very low turnout of Disciplined Services’ voters on D-Day was neither surprising nor unexpected. In fact, it bears a direct relationship with sub-optimally blind-sided and unfocused public education programmes, of which there seems to be no evaluation of the impact on the intended target audience. It is observed that while 7,917 Disciplined Services’ members were eligible to vote, only 3,147 is said to have voted on D-Day.Recently, Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice (Retired) James Patterson, in commenting on the low turnout, stated that GECOM did as much as it possibly could to advance meaningful public awareness. To such assertion, one would ask, ‘Have they really?’Only recently, the Secretariat’s CEO, Keith Lowenfield, in being hesitant to provide answers regarding non-compliance with the procurement procedures for awarding GECOM’s public relations contracts, signalled otherwise. Although GECOM claims to have expended hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ dollars for the public education, the results have been lacklustre at best, with the majority of voters being more confused as to the requirements, which now seem new.Apart from the less-than-acceptable public relations stunts, the GECOM Secretariat continues the bungling, thereby creating great suspicion and total mistrust in the process. Regarding the Disciplined Services’ voting, the law clearly states that at least fifteen days before E-Day, officers must indicate their willingness to vote on advance balloting. On this occasion, the List of Voters for D-Day was prepared long before the 15 days’ allowance period, thereby contributing to the low voter turnout.Further, many of the Returning Officers (ROs) seemed to have come up with their own rules and procedures, making the urgent need for clarification on the many elections-related issues difficult. The situation at Eccles-Ramsburg Local Authority Area (LAA) recently sprung another first time surprise, which reflects on the level of GECOM training for its staff and calls for unnecessary time wasting meetings to resolve new apparently created rules.In this instance, the RO, Ms Denise Babb, informed the PPP/C Leader of the List that a list of candidates had to be provided for each polling station, because the notified and approved counting agents for political parties would not be able to raise any objections at the counting of the votes cast. Such circumstances reek of inefficiency, and are designed to cause confusion, since they reflect a lack of standardisation of procedures to be applied.According to the legal and notified procedural guidelines, stakeholders, including political parties in particular, were supposed to appoint three scrutineers to monitor and participate fully in the preparation of the Disciplined Services’ list of voters.One scrutineer was supposed to be with the GECOM staff and army representative to produce and verify the list of electors from the army. Another scrutineer was supposed to be with the team overlooking the preparation of the list of electors for the Police, while the third scrutineer was to work along with the GECOM personnel to prepare the Prison Service List. None of this was done, and there are now serious questions regarding the extraction and preparation of the Voters’ List for D-Day. The Stakeholders must demand the full list of members of the army, Police Force and the Prison Officers; this nation deserves and must be told why the process by law was flouted by GECOM.The voting on D-Day was reduced to a mockery, as the planes arrived at the various polling places in the hinterland and officers were not on the locations for various reasons. Some were apparently not present due to transfers, while others were on leave and out of the area.Worst of all, many senior Police officers openly remarked that they know nothing of the process, since no communication with the Disciplined Services regarding voter Education was done.Sincerely,Neil Kumar, MPlast_img read more

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Farrier hoofs it for valley’s equines

first_imgHorseshoeing is more than just shoes. Mares, stallions and geldings alike get regular horsey pedicures, in which Warner cleans, trims and files their hoofs. Warner explains that the dirt, pebbles and manure that collect inside this animal’s vital extremity can be very dangerous to the horses if left untouched. “The hoof is like the second heart of the horse,” Warner said. “It controls the blood flow.” Taking large steel tools to clip off chunks of the horse’s hoof, Warner insists that none of the work he does hurts the animal. “If it’s done right it should actually feel good,” Warner said. Warner says technology hasn’t affected his historic trade too much. “It’s been done pretty much the same way since the Romans,” Warner said, admitting technological advances like digital X-rays have made some parts of the job easier. But, unlike many vocational trades that have relegated jobs to machines, no mechanical invention could replace the careful touch of a well-trained horseshoer. Warner’s wife, Jill, his sidekick for the past six years, says for this outdoorsy couple life couldn’t be better. “As long as there are horses out there, there will be horseshoes to fit.” [email protected] (661) 257-5254 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NEWHALL – Clank, clank, clank the hammer rang striking the fiery orange steel. “Sometimes you get these tiny flecks of metal that burn your fingers,” said Loren Warner. “But I keep hoping I’ll get better and they won’t jump out anymore.” As he wiped his brow, Warner admitted that the noontime sun – more than 80 degrees on Tuesday – was no match for the heat steaming from the 1,800-degree propane oven he was using to mold metal into custom-made shoes and tools for his demanding four-legged customers. A farrier – or horseshoer – by trade for the last 11 years, Warner travels in his horseshoe rig – a pickup truck equipped with an oven, anvil, and dozens of steel and plastic horseshoes. He’s on the road five days a week making sure every horse he fits for footwear has a perfect match. last_img read more

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