Counting of Ballots Ends in Westmoreland East and St. Ann South East
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Counting of Ballots – The final count of ballots cast on Thursday, September 3, for 48 of the 63 constituencies concluded on Saturday, September 5. In St. Ann South Eastern, the incumbent of the People’s National Party (PNP), Lisa Hanna, won by 32 votes, 18 up from the number announced on election night. In Westmoreland Eastern, the final count ended in a tie between PNP incumbent Luther Buchanan and Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) candidate, Daniel Lawrence.

On election night, the People’s National Party’s Lisa Hanna was declared the winner of the St. Ann South Eastern seat by just 14 votes.

Based on the preliminary count, she polled 5,124 votes to the 5,110 received by Jamaica Labour Party candidate, Delroy Grantson; however, at the end of the final count on Saturday, September 5, Hanna retained the seat by 32 votes.

Attorney-at-law for the JLP, Tom Tavares-Finson says after all documents are reviewed, the team will decide whether to request a magisterial recount.

Meanwhile, PNP councillor for the Beecher Town Division, Ian Bell says it’s a very low and surprising margin for St. Ann South Eastern, but for now, a win is a win.

However, he believes this is a wake-up call not only for Lisa Hanna but for the PNP. 

In Westmoreland Eastern, the final count on Saturday ended in a tie. PNP incumbent Luther Buchanan and the JLP’s Daniel Lawrence each polled 4,834 votes. Based on the preliminary count on September 3, Lawrence won by a margin of 8 with 4, 831 votes, while Buchanan had 4, 823.

On Sunday, the returning officer for Westmoreland Eastern cast a deciding vote for  Buchanan. The names of both candidates were placed in a ballot box. The returning officer then pulled a name from the box;  Buchanan’s name was selected. 

In the event of a tie, section 45 (8) of the Representation of the People Act (ROPA) allows for the Returning Officer to cast the deciding vote. Buchanan now has 4,835 votes and Lawrence, 4,834; However, Tom Tavares-Finson says the JLP will definitely be filing for a magisterial recount as soon as possible. 

Up to September 7, 2020, the Electoral Office of Jamaica reported the recounting for 48 of the 63 constituencies have been completed. The preliminary counting saw a 49-14 seat win for the Jamaica Labour Party on Thursday, September 3.