News
November 27, 2009
Voters defy weather to cast referendum ballots

The uncertainty of the weather that threatened Wednesday’s vote on a new constitution was certainly no match for the persistence of persons determined to be part of the history that unfolded in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.{{more}}

Equipped with umbrellas and makeshift shelters, the Leeward end of the island was buzzing with long queues of voters even before 7 a.m., the start of the voting process.

SEARCHLIGHT’s nine-hour trip to all of the polling stations bore evidence that persons were making sure that their voices were heard.

Soon after voters finished casting their ballots, some did not even bother to go to their several homes, as they congregated along the roadsides and celebrated before they even knew the outcome of the results.

Many were in high spirits to see the SEARCHLIGHT’s cameras as they emerged from their several polling stations with their hands high in the air, showing their inked index fingers. One man, bound in his electronic wheelchair, did not let his disability stop him from voting on Wednesday. He said that he felt a huge weight lifted off his shoulders that the day had finally arrived.

The usual chitchat in the several rum shops and restaurants were not about sports or even women. Not on this day. The referendum was the dominant topic that rolled off the tongues of the persons liming at their usual hangout spots.

By mid-morning the sun had come out in all its glory, beating down on the backs of voters who had to stand for long periods before they were able to vote.

“The sun hot, hot and they have we out here so long,” said one voter.

The overwhelming reaction from voters after casting their ballots in the various communities was a resounding “No!” – spoken outright or indicated with the thumbs-down sign.

By the time SEARCHLIGHT reporters made their way further down the Leeward coast, some polling stations were only attracting a spattering of voters, a clear indication that many had already done their civic duty.

The voters weren’t the only ones to make their presence felt. The vendors also cashed in on the day’s activities, which resembled a Friday night in St Vincent when the country is in its most jovial mood. (KW)