EOJ close to wrapping up final count of ballots

Director of Elections Glasspole Brown
By Kimone Witter    
The Electoral Office of Jamaica is close to completing the final count of ballots for the February 26 Local Government Election.
Counting has been completed for 218 of the 228 electoral divisions.
The EOJ says this tally represents the number of divisions completed up to late Wednesday evening.
Final results have been issued in nine parishes, namely: St. Thomas, Portland, St. Mary, St. Ann, Trelawny, Hanover, St. Elizabeth, Manchester, and Clarendon.
The EOJ says the final count of ballots will be completed today (Thursday).
Director of Elections Glasspole Brown says counting at some designated centres continued into the early hours of Thursday morning.
Speaking on the Morning Agenda on Power 106, Mr. Brown said while he understands the anxiety of the public, the EOJ is within the time frame of a final count.
"The election was on Monday night.... We completed and issued our preliminary results by 11 o'clock on Monday night. That was a preliminary result. There's another phase, which is known as a final count," he sought to explain. 
The final count began on Tuesday. 
Mr. Brown said some delays are outside of the EOJ's control. 
"I think one of the problems is that persons need to understand what is entailed in a final call. So to ask us to complete and say we are behind or we are slow, is somewhat unfair to us," he bemoaned. 
In a final count, he said, the returning office, having collected the ballot box on the election night after issuing the preliminary count, would then recount each individual ballot in the presence of the candidates and their  representatives, including lawyers. 
When the final count is complete, Mr. Brown said the municipal corporations will be informed so that the new candidates can be sworn in next week. 

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