Geoff Hazel - Long hours

Running time
2 min 15 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


It was a good mission. It was great. While the election period itself was absolutely ... I mean, 4:00 AM start. Well, first day, there was going to be two days of voting and one day of counting. To get all these international observers out, we had to start moving them at 4:00 AM. So, it was a 3:30 get out of bed, drive to the hotel. Now, as I'm driving to the hotel, I drove past one of the polling sites. And all the locals were there lined up, dressed in their Sunday best. And I just looked at them and I thought, "Wow." So, there was the little team, the planning team had now become the emergency response team for problems.

So, we decided, right, we'll get everybody out, then we'll go and have breakfast. Yes, we got everybody out. And by the time we got the last lot out, the first lot were reporting there's an issue. I mean, it might be there was no ink for them to dip their fingers in. There was ballot papers hadn't turned up and little things. So, we spent all morning running around from that. And we finally stopped at about 2:00 and went and had breakfast. That night, when they all came back in, we had to debrief them and get everything ready. Now, that night finished at 1:00 AM, by the time we had everybody in and settled. And so, we went up and we were back at 4:00 to get them out again.

That time, we didn't get all the provinces because they'd been sorted. But we were still, by the time we finished that night was 9:00 PM, finished a lot earlier. But they hadn't been able to get everybody to vote. So, the decision was, they'd allowed an ... Had an extra day there. They'd allowed the extra day. They said, "Right, we're going to have a third day of voting, and then we'll do the counting on the fourth day." So, once again, it was 4:00 AM, everybody out. That one finished in the vicinity of 8:00 PM, so it wasn't too bad.

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