Steady stream of voting in St George North
Slow and steady was the recurring theme for morning voting at several polling stations in the St George North by-election.
With voting beginning at 6 a.m., people arrived in ones and twos at the polling station located at the Taitt Hill New Testament Church of God, but at far intervals. There was no wait time to cast ballots, even though COVID-19 protocols were in full effect. By 7:20 a.m., only six people had voted.
A stone’s throw away at the Church of the Nazarene, Thorpe’s Cottage, the slow trickle of voters continued throughout the morning. One voter, Rashida Clarke, said she believed many of the people in that district would have opted to vote in the afternoon after they left work. She described the process as smooth and seamless.
“Up this side is not really a big box, but normally we get more people than this. So, I suspect that most people went to work and would leave early then come back and vote. I prefer to vote early and get it out of the way, and luckily for me, the process was very easy this morning. The protocols were not a major issue because all you had to do was to take your temperature, sanitise your hands and vote. So that would not have caused any kind of delays even if a lot of persons had turned out,” she said.
Melinda Rock expressed similar sentiments, surmising that voter enthusiasm may not have been as great as it was two years ago in the general election. She also noted that the showers in the early morning may have deterred some persons from voting early.
This was in sync with the views of Attorney General Dale Marshall, who casted his ballot at the Valery Resource Centre. Marshall described the process as smooth, noting that the COVID-19 protocols did not result in delays. However, he made it clear that he would have preferred to have witnessed much heavier voter traffic in the morning session.
“Having been a candidate I like to know that people are out and voting early because it then allows you to assess the areas that you need to make your thrust later in the day. It has been steady, and I would have personally liked to see large numbers of persons coming out in the 6:00 AM to 8:00 AM range. With that said I am happy with our efforts to mobilise the vote and I believe it would lead to a solid victory when the votes are counted,” he said.
At Cuthbert Primary School, Market Hill, which had seven boxes, the stream of voters was a little heavier, but even then, the volumes were not enough to overwhelm the process. (CLM)