Kaieteur News is today chronicling a plethora of occasions when the Region Four Returning Officer (RO), Clairmont Mingo, had inflated the votes in his district in favor for the A Partnership For National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC), while also aiming subtracting votes from the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C).
This publication, in a series of extensive and verifiable articles, had exposed how Mingo’s General Election declaration of Friday, March 13, 2020 gave the Coalition 136,057 votes, while the recount showed the correct figure to be 116,941 votes, indicating that the Returning Officer fraudulently inflated the Coalition’s Region Four total by 19,116 votes.
His declaration also gave the PPP/C 77,231 votes, when the party’s rightful total – according to recount figures – is 80,920 votes, indicating that Mingo exacted a deflation of 3,689 votes on the party.
The votes taken from the PPP/C were not enough to offset the votes given to the Coalition, hence, about 15,427 ghost votes were added by Mingo to the total number of valid votes cast. While the recount showed that 202,077 valid votes were cast in the Region Four General Election, Mingo’s declaration had taken the total up to 217, 425.
The results of the national recount tabulation show that the PPP/C has won the recount with a grand total of 233,336 votes against the APNU+AFC Coalition’s 217,920 votes; Mingo had caused the victory to sway in the other direction, giving APNU+AFC 236,990 votes to the PPP/C’s 229,489 votes.
Kaieteur News has produced verifiable reports, demonstrating Mingo’s manipulation of votes in 32 ballot boxes from the East Bank of Demerara. Our analysis of those boxes shows that Mingo’s tabulation subtracted 391 votes from PPP/C, and added 1,514 votes to APNU+AFC. This amounted to a total variance of 1,905 votes from the corresponding Statements of Poll – the other 13,000 plus ghost votes were scattered over what would have had to been at least dozens of ballot boxes.
The paper’s analysis is based on audio recordings, provide by The Citizenship Initiative (TCI) and A New and United Guyana (ANUG), of Mingo’s General Election numbers being called out during the Kingston tabulation, and figures supplied for four ballot boxes by the Head of the Organization of American States (OAS) Observer Mission, Bruce Golding, in the mission’s preliminary report on Guyana’s 2020 Elections to the OAS Permanent Council.
The inflated ballot boxes
On May 10, Kaieteur News had published that the Statements of Recount for ballot box No. 4058, a polling station at Supply Primary School, polling division 412131B (ii), counted during the national recount at Workstation 10 showed that, for the General Election, APNU+AFC secured 93 votes, while the PPP/C secured 91 votes, and for the Regional Election, APNU+AFC secured 94 votes, while the PPP/C secured 88.
However, video evidence of Mingo’s Hadfield Street tabulation shows a GECOM staffer reading very different figures, under his supervision. The clerk, after reading out the number of the ballot box #4058, read that APNU+AFC secured 163 votes, while the PPP secured 71 votes. While the video clip did not indicate whether the tabulation in question was for the Regional or General Election, the figures were clearly contradicted, those of the SOR in favour of the Coalition by either 70 votes for the General Elections or 69 if the tabulation referred to the Regional Elections.
It should be noted that Mingo’s tabulation did not only produce a higher APNU+AFC vote but produced a lower PPP/C vote as well, either by 20 votes if the tabulation figures were general or 17 votes if they were regional.
On May 19, a Kaieteur News analysis of information showed that between just 17 boxes, Mingo’s general election tabulation subtracted 331 votes from PPP/C and added 778 votes to APNU+AFC.
This indicates that, for just those 17 ballot boxes, Mingo’s general election tabulation produced a total variance of 1,109 votes from the figures on the corresponding statements of poll. While members of the governing coalition have consistently dismissed the figures on the statements of poll (SOPs) which have been made public by political parties, and which have been posted outside each and every polling station for public scrutiny, the statements of recount produced by the GECOM work stations during the National Recount for these 17 ballot boxes, are overwhelmingly in correlation with the numbers on the SOPs provided. It should be noted that the coalition has so far refused to provide copies of the SOPs in its possession and which various representatives have claimed to be in alignment with Mingo’s figures.
On June 1, we reported evidence of a 25th ballot box that shows Mingo manipulated the votes of his District’s electorate to favour the governing Coalition, APNU+AFC. This box, Ballot Box 4143, is one recounted from a polling place housed at a private dwelling, Tracey Matthew’s Residence at Kaneville, Grove Housing Scheme, used as a place of poll on Election Day.
For this box, labelled 4143, the original statement of poll showed 72 votes for PPP/C, and 120 votes for APNU+AFC. Mingo’s tabulation added 50 votes to APNU+AFC, increasing the count to 170. The statement of recount showed an increase from the statement of poll of one vote for APNU+AFC, 121, likely due to a previously rejected vote being now considered valid at the recount.
Later on June 3, evidence of seven additional ballot boxes emerged, thereby taking the total to 32.
The ballot boxes, which derived from the Diamond Nursery School on the East Bank of Demerara, IPE Private School in Golden Grove, the New Diamond/ Grove Primary School, as well as the Grove Primary School, illustrate how Mingo, across these seven boxes, subtracted 51 votes from the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) and added 301 to the APNU+AFC.
For ballot box 4115, the SOP showed 178 votes for PPP/C, and 133 votes for the APNU+AFC. Mingo’s tabulation subtracted 20 votes from the PPP/C, decreasing the count to 158, and added 30 votes to APNU+AFC, increasing the count to 163. The SOR showed the same result as the SOP.
For ballot box 4118, the SOP showed 160 votes for PPP/C, and 81 votes for APNU+AFC. Mingo’s tabulation subtracted 20 votes from PPP/C, decreasing the count to 140, and added 20 votes to APNU+AFC, increasing the count to 101. The SOR showed a decrease of one vote for APNU+AFC, from the SOP, to 80.
For ballot box 4128, the SOP showed 119 votes for PPP/C, and 94 votes for APNU+AFC. Mingo’s tabulation subtracted 10 votes from PPP/C, decreasing the count to 109, and added 60 votes to APNU+AFC, increasing the count to 154. The SOP showed the same result as the SOP
In ballot box 4134, the SOP showed 122 votes for PPP/C, and 139 votes for APNU+AFC. Mingo’s tabulation added 48 votes to APNU+AFC, increasing the count to 189. The SOR showed an increase of two votes for APNU+AFC, likely due to previously rejected ballots, now considered valid. For ballot box 4138, the Statement of Poll showed 118 votes for PPP/C, and 158 votes for APNU+AFC.
Mingo’s tabulation added 30 votes to APNU+AFC, increasing the count to 188. The Statement of Recount showed a decrease of one vote for each party, to 117 and 157 respectively, likely due to previously valid votes now considered rejected.
For ballot box 4157, the SOP showed 71 votes for PPP/C, and 103 votes for APNU+AFC. Mingo’s tabulation added 90 votes to APNU+AFC, increasing the count to 193. The SOR showed a decrease of one vote for APNU+AFC, to 102, likely due to a previously valid vote now considered rejected at the recount.
Finally, for ballot box 4158, the SOP showed 80 votes for PPP/C, and 132 votes for APNU+AFC. Mingo’s tabulation added 20 votes to APNU+AFC, increasing the count to 152. The SOR showed the same result as the Statement of Poll.
So far, this newspaper has verified Mingo’s vote rigging to have impacted 32 ballot boxes, with the inclusion of the aforementioned seven ballot boxes, all coming from polling places on the East Bank of Demerara. The manipulation occurred during the tabulation process when instead of calling out the numbers reflected on the original SOPs at various polling stations, the Returning Officer produced figures that invariably added votes to the Coalition and in many instances subtracted votes from the opposition.
The regional and international communities have all called for the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to make a final declaration only on the results of the national recount. These communities have also threatened individual sanctions if a declaration that lacks credibility is announced. Notably, the incumbent President David Granger, as well as other high-standing members of the governing coalition, have maintained that Mingo committed no acts of fraud
President David Granger had denied, in the American daily newspaper, The Washington Post, the only proven instances of vote rigging in Guyana’s 2020 electoral process, those of the fraudulent Region Four tabulations controlled by Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo.
“I don’t see any corruption, any fraud,” the President told the Post in a recent interview, “If there’s any fraud, it went into the boxes when the ballots were cast March 2.”
The President’s comments are detailed in an article titled ‘Why Guyana’s political stalemate matters’ by the Post’s columnist on foreign affairs, Ishaan Tharoor.
The President has repeatedly refused to admit or even acknowledge the rigging which led to the Region Four declarations of March 5 and 13. He has instead, opted to say that the reason there had to be a national recount, is that the “irregularities” claimed by the coalition were discovered.
The coalition’s claims of procedural irregularities and voter impersonation were only made after the recount began, and are recorded in the recount observation reports. That these claims found their genesis only after the recount began is well documented by local media.