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Smooth but slow vote among special services electors

 
There was a reportedly poor turnout in some divisions by special services members who voted on Thursday ahead of the local government election on Monday. 
 
This appeared to be the case at least at polling stations within Kingston and St. Andrew which have the largest cluster of members of the security forces.
 
From Kingston Central, to Kingston Western, and divisions in St. Andrew, police officers and soldiers made their way to cast their vote at the Area Four divisional headquarters Thursday.
 
Senior member of the People's National Party and Member of Parliament for South East St. Andrew Julian Robinson, who was observing the process on the ground, said voting was noticeably slow.
 
“Just from observation, it's been a trickle. Seems to be going smoothly. I had one complaint when I was at JDF from a soldier who went up to Up Park Camp to vote, but was told that his vote was actually in Moneague, and he didn't know that prior. I don't know if it's an isolated incident or if it is more widespread.”
 
Data from the Electoral Commission of Jamaica show that voter turnout has been consistently low among the security forces for local government elections.
 
This year, the EOJ says 10,544 police officers and 4,882 soldiers are registered to vote.
 
“While the numbers may not be large, in the context of a voters' list of over 2 million, in a local government election, every vote counts,” said Mr. Robinson.
 
Combined, the JDF and the Area Four police headquarter represents the largest bloc of security members.
 
St. Thomas
 
In Thomas, Radio Jamaica’s correspondent Henry Shirley reported that the polling of special services groups got off to a slow start on Thursday morning, with a 15% voter turnout at 11 a.m.
 
As a steady flow of voters continued to make their way to polling stations, this eventually rose to a little over 40% at the close of polls.
 
The hotly contested seat of the Trinityville Division, where Dean Jones of the Jamaica Labour Party is up against Kimberly Thompson of the People's National Party, saw the highest voter turnout in St. Thomas Western, with more than 50%.
 
This was closely followed by the Cedar Valley Division and the Seaforth Division, which also had a little over 50%.
 
Both the Yallahs and the Llandewey Division saw a little more than 40% voter turnout.
 
However, the lowest turnout was in the White Horses Division, which was under 20%. That seat is being contested by Mayor of Morant Bay Hubert Williams of the People's National Party, who is up against David McKenzie of the Jamaica Labour Party.
 
Voting progressed quietly and without incident.


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