The Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission has increased the number of polling stations to 188. It was 161 in the last election cycle.
Human Resource Training Officer at the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission Ian Hughes said The decision is because of the increase in registrations. Covid-19 is also another factor.
“We have to look at social distancing because Covid has not gone anywhere. Also, the number of persons on our register has increased. We are now at 58,000 people and we try as much as possible that each polling station can cater for about 400 people,” Hughes said.
Meantime Hughes said special allocations will be made for persons who need it.
“The law mandates employers to allow workers at least four hours to vote but we are mindful of the fact that based on the nature of some jobs, they would need special treatments. So we will have preferential clerks to help. Teachers, police officers, and everyone will be given special privileges if the needs be,” he said.
“Not because you apply for a specific position, means that you will be automatically selected for that position. We need people to be mindful of that,” Hughes explained.
ABEC is also preparing by way of purchasing ballot boxes, which Hughes said are expected to arrive on the island soon.
“We are expecting shipment shortly. In as much as we would like them to be here, there are still some challenges in terms of shipping but we will have everything in place by the time of the elections,” he said.
ABEC is seeking to employ about 800 persons for the upcoming general elections, including clerks and presiding officers.
Election in Antigua and Barbuda is constitutionally due in March of 2023.