…GECOM admits ink used was “leftovers” from 2016By Lakhram BhagiratAs Guyana had its second consecutive Local Government Elections (LGE) on Monday, the Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) has raised a number of concerns ranging from possible voter fraud to the quality of ink being used by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo casting his ballotAfter casting his ballot at St John’s College, in Georgetown about 10:20h, the Party’s General Secretary and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo relayed the concerns to members of the media. Jagdeo said that according to reports the process was going fairly smooth, but the glaring issue was the fact that some of the Proportional Representation (PR) candidates were not accredited to act as polling agents. This, he attributed, to either a lack of comprehensive training on the part of GECOM or “capricious partisan action on the part of some Presiding Officers”.“We have about one per cent of the total ballot stations without polling agents, because of one or another problem this morning. We are trying to get people in there now, but we have asked our leaders in those areas to pay particular attention to those boxes when we see the results to see if it departs from the national averages where we don’t have the one per cent with problems,” Jagdeo explained.Poor qualityAdditionally, the former President related that they have received numerous complaints about the quality of ink being used by GECOM. He said that the ink was easily washed off, which is a cause for concern.Minister of State Joseph Harmon shortly after casting his vote“I have had numerous reports that it could be easily removed, so what we have asked our polling agents now is to pay particular attention to people who have voted before may attempt to come back in and vote so that is one safeguard against ink being removed, so we asked our polling agents to look at this,” he said.GECOMMeanwhile, GECOM Public Relations Officer (PRO) Yolanda Ward told reporters that the quality of ink used was up to standard, adding that it was hard to wash off.“We are talking about indelible ink here …When you put your finger in that ink, it comes out very light purple and within minutes it gets dark. I am confident that the quality of ink we have is of the highest standard,” she noted.When asked where the ink was procured from, Ward said she would not be able to give the exact location, but explained that the Elections Commission would have had ink leftover from the 2016 LGE. Concerns had also been raised about the ink quality in the 2016 LGE.On the issue of the snubbing of some polling agents, the PRO noted that there were statutory timelines in which the names had to be submitted and once approved by the Returning Officer (RO), those persons would have been issued with their identification badges. She reminded that an election was ongoing and that politics, as well as the setting of agendas, would occur; hence, the reason for issues surrounding the snubbing of those polling agents.“For a request to be made to an RO on an elections morning to have an agent issued with a badge, I think with all fairness for the RO, who is on the ground dealing with the conduct of poll, is something we should be extremely fair in our judgement about. And these have statutory timelines and our Returning Officers met the statutory timelines to ensure that once your list has been submitted that they are issued with badges …. I am confident at GECOM we have the highest level of Returning Officers,” Ward stated.GECOM Public Relations Officer Yolanda WardPersons with disabilitiesThere have been several reports that persons with disabilities were disenfranchised because no provisions were made for their votes, especially those with limited mobility. On this note, Ward said that it was a rather unfortunate situation, adding that it would serve as a teaching moment for the Elections Commission. She went on to explain that because of the set of LGE, there has to be a polling station in every constituency and that GECOM would have had issues accessing suitable sites resulting in them occupying a number of private residences as well as shops, which do not necessarily have the provisions for differently-abled people.IntimidationAccording to information reaching Guyana Times it was indicated that a number of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) supporters were in Sophia, Greater Georgetown attempting to intimidate persons about to vote.But, according to GECOM, they did not receive any information about such disturbances. “We have Police on site and I hope the RO was informed. The law is clear on the amount of feet/yards where the poll should be uninterrupted and if that happened, I hope the situation was remedied,” Ward said.Meanwhile, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and his wife, Sita, cast their ballot at the National Aquatic Centre in Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown. He said that they have received reports of a smooth process throughout the country, adding that voter turnout has been reported as low.The acting President also expressed regret that President David Granger and First Lady Sandra Granger could not have voted, owing to the fact that Granger is yet to be given the go-ahead to travel from his doctors in Cuba.Voting processThis publication visited a number of polling stations within the Georgetown municipality, and observed the common theme of low voter turnout. Some of the polling stations were virtually void of voters for long periods and, according to GECOM, this is mainly owing to the fact that many of the eligible voters were at work.“My observation is while we have voters turning up at the various polling stations, it seems to be very slow and I hope as the day progresses that it would pick up. You would appreciate that today is not a holiday, it wasn’t GECOM call for a holiday, we do not declare national holidays that is for the Executive and, therefore, we have a lot of the voting population at work at this time. I hope that they will be allowed the time to vote and make it before the poll closes,” PRO Ward said.At the opening of polls at 06:00h, as expected, a few persons were seen casting their votes – most middle-aged and above. Speaking with Guyana Times a number of residents in the Sophia area placed emphasis on the elections as they hoped that once their desired party was elected into office they could bring about changes necessary in Sophia such as new roads, better security, accountability for funds, and cleaner and greener areas.Unlike the knocking of pots and pans that are usually used to awaken voters on election morning, one could hear a pin drop in the Guyhoc Park and Tucville areas as the polling stations were opened. When the clocks struck 06:00h, a handful of elderly persons could be seen lined up at Howard’s Residence, Guyhoc Park to cast their votes at the earliest possible time. The same occurred at Tucville Primary and Secondary.Minutes after the polling station at Howard’s Residence opened, Minister of State Joseph Harmon showed up to exercise his democratic right. Speaking to the media after casting his ballot, Harmon stressed the importance of such an election and pleaded with employers to allow their employees time to vote.“This is a very important election: it deals with the democratic renewal of your communities and, therefore, you are the persons who will benefit from the quality of leadership that you require at the local level,” he said.A little while after the State Minister, Citizenship Minister Winston Felix also cast his vote at the same location, and he too stressed the need for citizens to vote.Meanwhile, voters at Tucville Primary and Secondary Schools had a bit of trouble in identifying their respective polling stations. The school compound housed six polling stations which proved to be confusing for voters. Several persons turned up at the school in hopes to cast their ballot, but could not identify their exact polling station; this caused them to walk to every one to check to find their names on the respective list for each station.Many are blaming the low turnout on the fact that GECOM ran a poor education campaign and there was only so much that the political parties could have done. One of the glaring issues was the inability of persons to identify their respective Polling Stations. (Additional reporting by Jemima Holmes and Timothy Jaikarran)>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>PhotosWardeCaption:Jagdeo 1Caption: RamotarCaption: Poll1Caption:
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Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Electromechanical Continue Reading Previous Want to include digital writing in your apps and UIs?Next Public key infrastructure for the IIoT Connected devices are disrupting every facet of today’s home – from entertainment, to access control, to daily tasks, and more, with the U.S. market seeing 29 million of its homes growing even smarter by the day.While consumers are easily captivated by the amazing features and efficiencies these products offer to their household, it’s important that engineers also keep in mind the physical interface. The look and feel of a device dictates a product’s price and has long-standing effects on customer satisfaction. For IoT device engineers, this means one thing: you have to sweat the details. Every component choice matters, particularly given most IoT products’ small size.Switches and buttons are the unsung “heroes” responsible for driving the smart home tech movement. There are six important reasons why they shouldn’t be an afterthought in a smart home product engineer’s designs.Hardware Hardware ranging from the switches, sensors and screens used on smart televisions, connected door locks, smart thermostat controls, etc. – play a critical role in the proliferation of a smart home’s connected devices. Humans are tactile creatures so the way a product feels is a critical part of a user’s overall satisfaction.“On/off” switches are generally the only product control feature a user physically touches; in fact, many times the switch is a customer’s first interaction with a product. It is critical that switches create a delightful experience or else consumers will search out another product that better meets their needs. Security Internet Protocol (IP) cameras are a common feature in many smart homes, and it’s no wonder why: According to an iControl Networks study, a burglary takes place every 14.1 seconds in the United States. IP cameras allow a person to monitor what’s going on at home from their laptop, smartphone, or any other smart device from anywhere in the world. IP cameras also act as a deterrent to crime, help police apprehend criminals and simply provide piece of mind to a homeowner.KMR Mini Tactile Switch (Source: C&K) But these valiant efforts in protection will go to waste without the right switch powering the smart cameras. For these types of applications, a miniature tactile switch’s small size is perfect for meeting the needs of shrinking form factors – such as smaller lens displays – but are also robust enough to prevent an intruder from breaking the camera, rendering it useless.Access Control IP cameras only capture images of people who are not supposed to enter your home. Access control provides an additional level of security for the 90 percent of consumers concerned with personal and family security when it comes to smart home adoption, again according to iControl Networks.Internet doorbells with built-in cameras can show you who is at the front door, while smart door locks allow you to unlock the door remotely. These devices can come in handy to unlock your house for the babysitter or forgetful teenagers who left their keys at school. Most smart locks utilize some type of miniature tactile switch to set or reset the lock. These switches need to be small, have long life and be able to deal with harsh conditions like rain and humidity. Switches used on Internet doorbells also require high cycle life and the ability to accommodate over-travel and over-force conditions (e.g., kids, delivery persons and neighbors who pound on the doorbell repeatedly). Smart Thermostats Almost half (41.5 percent) of residential energy consumption in the United States is due to heating and cooling, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. This is why many consumers are installing smart thermostat systems into their homes that automatically regulate heat and air conditioning systems that help cut energy costs.KSC Electro-Mechanical Switch(Source: C&K) Many smart thermostats use touch screens for the operator interface; however, many companies use standard switches as a low-cost solution. The best type of switches to use are small, electro-mechanical and navigation switches that provide a customized sound and feel that denotes quality. These switches can also be used for reset functions to protect against power surges that can make a product inoperable. Heating and Cooling Smart thermostats can help consumers save on heating and cooling costs, but they do little to warn when a larger building’s HVAC system will break down.Sensors align the different components of a smart HVAC system to alert building owners to any abnormal activity or when it’s time for a repair. But, these sensors would be useless if the proper switches weren’t in place to power the system in the first place. Because HVAC equipment and controllers are commonly located in utility rooms, basements, and other dirty environments, these products’ switches must be able to accommodate harsh conditions. Corrosion resistance is a key factor to maintain reliable electrical signals in the presence of dust or moisture. With thermostats and commercial room controllers, cycle life is also an important consideration as these products are generally built to last up to ten years.Modern Smart Lighting Lighting represents 19 percent of global electricity consumption and 23 percent of electricity consumption in the United States. According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), one of the simplest ways to reduce a building’s carbon footprint is to retrofit lighting.SDA DIP Switch (Source: C&K) For improved smart lighting efficiency, one of the most common products is the occupancy, or motion sensor. These products can be mounted in a corner of the room or be part of a wall light switch. The device typically incorporates a passive infrared (PIR) sensor to determine movement, but many of these sensors require the use of a DIP switch to adjust sensitivity and timing settings, or else the system won’t function properly. The DIP switches are generally required to have low-profile miniature footprints and have a contact system that can resist corrosion and provide reliable switching at low current levels.A typical U.S. home could contain more than 500 smart devices by 2022 according to research firm Gartner. However, hardware still plays an important role in these products. The simple tact, pushbutton, and DIP switches – generally the last components to be added to the design and one of the lowest cost items on the bill of materials – are typically the only part of the end product the consumer actually touches. When they work, they go unnoticed. But when they don’t, the results can be expensive and frustrating.Mike Bolduc is Global Marketing Manager at C&K, where he is responsible for leading market strategy and global growth efforts for the industrial and medical business segments. Mike has an engineering and business background and over 25 years of diversified experience in the automotive, semiconductor, HVAC, aerospace, industrial, and medical industries working for large global corporations such as Texas Instruments and Stanley Black & Decker. Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must Register or Login to post a comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.