Attorney Wayne Golding of Orlando has been elected the Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board member for the Southern USA. Mr. Golding was declared the duly elected Diaspora Advisory Board Representative and will immediately assume office having secured the majority of votes from a final count of 1,237 ballots from the Jamaican Diaspora across the thirteen (13) Southern states of the United States of America (USA).
Making the announcement the Rev. Horace Ward, Rector, Holy Family Episcopal-Anglican Church in Miami Gardens, and who has been the interim Diaspora Board coordinator for the region, said that the final count of ballots took place this morning Saturday (Aug. 16), following the close of ballots yesterday Friday (Aug. 15).
Three candidates handed their nominations for the volunteer, two-year position, and voting began on Monday (Aug. 4). The candidates were Wayne C. Golding, Sr., Esq., resident of Orlando, Florida, who secured the majority of votes (936); Alexander A. Williams, Esq., resident of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, securing 202 votes and Courtney G. McFarlane, resident of Atlanta, Georgia, who secured 71 votes.
While discussions process began in January, this year, Rev. Ward explained that the process was done in a timely way to engage our region. “This is about building a process that serves to benefit all of Jamaican heritage at home and across the Diaspora”.
He also commended the efforts of the advisory team – Mayor Barrington Russell of Lauderdale Lakes, Ms. Kaye Chong of Caribbean Airways and Ms. Cheryl Wynter of the Consulate General of Jamaica; the Independent Panel of auditors including Leary Mullings from Crichton Mullings & Associates and Lorry Burford of United Friends of Highgate for their commitment, dedication, time and resources in assisting in this election which he said was done with the highest standard of honor, integrity, and transparency. “The latter comprised auditors who have not been in anyway involved in the process to date” according to Rev. Ward, who served as the final arbiter. All ballots received by closing time 8:00 p.m. (EST) yesterday, (Friday, August 15), were checked, tabulated and verified by the Independent Panel. The committee also invited each candidate to provide one representative observer for the count.
Voters of Jamaican heritage across the Southern USA were encouraged to participate in the process which began early August. The 13-State region includes Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. Voting was conducted both electronically, and mail-in ballots, given the wide geographical area of that region. Each voter was limited to one ballot by selecting one of the three listed candidates, and voter’s name and address was required to ensure an effective process, according to Rev. Ward.
Throughout the process, Rev. Ward spoke of his continued interaction with members of community associations, media and faith-based leaders in the Diaspora communities in an effort to create awareness and interest to the “Diaspora movement to which each of us as Jamaicans residing overseas, is a member” he added.
The Diaspora Advisory Board arose out of the first Biennial National Diaspora Conference held in Kingston, in June 2004. Attorney Golding will now join the team of seven total Board members required to represent the interest of Jamaican Diaspora populated communities in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, while maintaining close relationship with the Jamaican foreign missions and embassies in those regions as well as the Government and people in Jamaica. The voting results will be posted on the election website at www.JamaicaDiasporaElection2014.com).
Contact: Rev. Horace Ward – Tel # 305-652-6797
Interim Board Coordinator
Email: [email protected]