The People’s United Party is accusing the Chairman of the United Democratic Party of tampering with the voters’ registration list, specifically those voting using proxy votes. In a letter sent to the Chief Elections Officer, Josephine Tamai, the PUP’s Campaign Manager for Cayo Central, Horace Grant, accuses August of demanding that the registrar sign hundreds of blank proxy forms. The letter states quote, “the registrar refused to sign such proxy forms, which then prompted him to make a direct call to your person……..where you were instructing the registrar to sign these black proxy form” end of quote. The PUP says that this is a blatant act of corruption. But Alberto August says that is totally false.
“Let me relate to you all what happened on Tuesday the 27th. There is a policeman who will be working election day duties, he approached me and ask to assign somebody to vote for him by proxy. The law states that an agent of a political party can’t vote for anyone by proxy so then therefore I cannot vote for him so I found somebody in our constituency who could vote for him. He filled out the application form, I took it to the Commissioner of Police because the law states that the Commissioner of Police should sign it but then subsequently to that the Commissioner of Police delegated authority to the Commanding officers at the various police formations for them to sign on his behalf. I took it into to the Commissioner of Police to get the signature. When I arrived at the commissioner of police’s office he was not there. I called him until he said to leave it there and he would sign it. I left it and a few days later I went back for the form so I made two trips to Belmopan to pick up the forms, when I got there it was already signed. So on Tuesday I went into the registration office in Cayo Central Santa Elena to deposit the signed proxy form along with the person who is supposed to be voting for this police man. The office was busy in the sense there were election people working behind the counter checking the binders I was the only person there seeking service at that time. I presented the form to the lady and the lady reviewed the form. She said that the commissioner did not put the date on it, I said the same date that the police signed the form that is the same date I gave the Commissioner. She gave me back the paper, so I inserted the date; I think it was the 10th of October. I inserted the date and I gave it back to her, she said no that she could not accept that. I said that the letter was duly signed by the voter and by the Commissioner of Police and stamped, all that was missing is that the Commissioner forgot to put in the date; the lady refused.”
One thing that both parties can agree on is the August did make a call to the Chief Elections Officer.
“So I called the Chief Elections officer, I was still outside of the registering office; I called and explained the situation to her and she said no that she would talk to the lady to accept the thing. So I stepped inside and by that time the Chief Election officer had already spoken with her. So then I gave her the form and she said that she is not going to accept it. I said to myself that then this lady must be bigger than the Chief Elections Officer. So I got on my phone and I put it on speaker and I told the Chief Elections officer that I was there and told her that the lady is still refusing to accept the thing, the Chief Elections Officer said that the lady was supposed to accept the thing. I looked to the lady and said “Miss, you heard the Chief Elections officer.” and I sat back. The policeman at the door told me “The lady said for you to give her the paper.” She didn’t tell me; the policeman had to tell me. In other words she refused to speak with me. I went and I gave the lady the paper, all she needed to do, because she had already reviewed it, was to sign it. I sat in that office silent for 15 minutes before that lady signed the paper and then somebody else told me that the lady had the paper ready. That was the level of that in terms of one hundred blanks. What are we going to do with one hundred blank proxy forms?”
August says that if the PUP, specifically Horace Grant, continue to spread the false allegations against him, he will seek legal advice from his attorney. Chief Elections officer, Josephine Tamai responded to Grant’s letter. In her response, Tamai tells Grant quote, “at no point in time have I instructed any of my registering officers of any staff member of the Elections and Boundaries Department to sign any blank proxy form on my behalf” end of quote. Tamai does acknowledge the call that August placed to her as she goes on to collaborate August’s version of events. Tamai concludes by stating quote, “as the Chief Elections Officer, I will ensure that the facts are brought to light and will not allow any political party, candidate or representative of any candidate to attempt to misinform and misguide anyone that any act of corruption or illegal activities are occurring within the Elections and Boundaries Department”, end of quote. The persons who the law permits to vote through proxy are police officers, BDF soldiers, and essentials services personnel.