The ROs are in charge of the polling stations and will be officially appointed as soon as President George Maxwell Richards issues the Writs of Election to the EBC, which will then be submitted to the ROs.
Between 12,000 to 15,000 poll day staff who are expected to work throughout the 1,463 polling divisions, 67 of which are in Tobago, have already started to undergo extensive training for the big day.
The 2007 General Election, in which over 978,000 people are expected to cast their vote, is expected to cost the EBC $22 million and polling cards, ink and training will take the lion’s share of the money, Newsday has learnt.
With the election machinery kicking in, the EBC is expected to publish the Election Notice in the Gazette and newspapers informing the public of the different categories of people to vote as special electors. Special voters include members of the Defence Force and essential services workers, candidates and election day workers. The EBC also has to carry out internal checks on a number of activities including a preliminary check of nomination papers.
Nomination Day, as announced by Prime Minister Patrick Manning is October 22, and on that date, the candidates from all the political parties contesting the election will file their declaration forms.
The EBC also has to ensure that ballot papers are printed and the quality of the electoral ink is checked and determined to be suitable and by mid-October the printing of polling cards is expected to get underway. The Revised Voters’ List should be in place by mid-October as well, Newsday has learnt.
The Commissioner of Police will also receive, in writing, the number of electors in each of the 41 electoral districts to facilitate the registration of vehicles which will used as electoral vehicles, and the EBC is expected to post its supplemental list of voters.
By the end of October all electors would have received their polling cards and on the eve of the election, the chairman of the EBC Dr Norbert Masson is expected to address the nation on national television. Special voting, Newsday was told, is done on the Wednesday and Thursday before polling day.
The 41 constituencies
DIEGO MARTIN CENTRAL
DIEGO MARTIN NORTH/EAST
DIEGO MARTIN WEST
LOPINOT/BON AIR WEST
PORT-OF-SPAIN NORTH/ST ANN’S WEST
PRINCES TOWN NORTH
PRINCES TOWN SOUTH/TABLELAND
SAN FERNANDO EAST
SAN FERNANDO WEST
ST ANN’S EAST