Sidney Collie, Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman, issued the following statement regarding Wednesday’s advanced poll debacle:
“Incompetent until the bitter end! That is how the people will remember this disastrous PLP Government. With just days to go the PLP is now turning the advanced poll into a catastrophe. Nothing changes with them. A government has few responsibilities more important than ensuring a free and fair election. Nevertheless, this Government is finding a way to drop the ball, as they always do.
“The long lines and late ballot boxes are well known, but there are more nefarious and concerning issues less widely known. For example, many constituents living overseas and travelling long distances to vote, claimed that they were turned away—unable to vote—even after presenting adequate documentation.
“Additionally, some voters requesting to vote in the advance poll in New Providence discovered that they were not on the Register but instead were on the Grand Bahama Register. There were no ballots at certain overseas locations such as in Barbados, so constituents were unable to cast their votes there. At other locations, students who supplied form J to the Honorary Consul found that their names were not on the register. And even more – in some instances, oversees voting was suspended altogether after running out of ballots.
“After five years of this PLP failure it’s hard to tell whether their latest fumbling is an orchestrated voter suppression or simply another example of the PLP’s negligent incompetence. But one thing is clear – no matter how many roadblocks the PLP constructs to prevent a smooth vote – the Bahamas cannot in any way afford to give this PLP Government another five more years. On May 10th, I urge all Bahamians to vote the PLP out and put an end to this regime’s direct threat to our democracy.”