SVG

Elections chief makes proposal on reducing bloated voter’s list

Voter's listKINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, May 23, IWN – Facial recognition technology might be too expensive but Supervisor of Elections, Sylvia Findlay-Scrubb, has a proposal on reducing the size of the voter’s list, which, at 101,000, is just about 5,000 less than the estimated size of the population.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves told Parliament last week that the Government is exploring the use of facial recognition technology in the nation’s electoral system but it is highly complex and expensive.

“For the system alone for the facial recognition, it is going to cost in the region of US$3 million,” Gonsalves said in response to a question from Northern Grenadine representative, Dr. Godwin Friday, an opposition lawmaker.

Gonsalves, citing an answer provided by the Supervisor of Elections said the Electoral Office is involved in a daily update of the voter’s list through its continuous programme of voter registration, which takes place twice weekly in each constituency.

The names of deceased persons are removed monthly through information received from the Registry and the National Broadcasting Corporation, which broadcasts the most obituaries.

“To date, these sources have proven to be very reliable,” Gonsalves, said.

He further told lawmakers that on April 9, the Supervisor of Elections met with representatives of the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP) and the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) separately to discuss the issue of the voters’ list.

The Supervisor of Elections presented a proposal for what is likely to result in a significant reduction in the number of persons on the voters’ list, Gonsalves said.

She recommended that the quarterly voters’ list that will be published in July 2014 only contain the names of persons who renew their registration as voters in St. Vincent and the Grenadines between July 2009 and July 2014.

The Prime Minister, who also has ministerial responsibilities for electoral matters, noted that the Representation of the People Act says that besides death and a court order, the Supervisor of Elections can only remove a person’s name from the voter’s list if that person has been out of the country for five consecutive years.

The Supervisor of Elections further proposed that beginning July 2013 there should be one year of intense publicity leading up to the July 2014 cut off date, the prime minister said.

The NDP and ULP are scheduled to meet again with the Supervisor of Elections in mid June 2013 to provide feedback on her proposal.

“This seems to me, on the face of it, an eminently reasonable proposal to address the matter,” the prime minister commented.

“Mr Speaker, it is all well and good, you have a question, raise issues about the lack of transparency and problems with transparency and integrity,” he further stated.

“But everybody has said that the [electoral] system is transparent, the system has integrity, and the government in St. Vincent and the Grenadines was elected on a free and fair basis and those of us who are here (in government) and those of us over there (in opposition), are reflective of the will of the people. Long may it be so and I want to strengthen that,” Gonsalves said.

He further commented that from a policy standpoint, his government has sought to ensure and inspire citizens’ confidence in electoral system.

“Anytime a man lose[s] [in an election], he feel[s] that something wrong with the system. Fellas must learn to take their defeat,” the Prime Minister said.

He also noted that his government has purchased and installed a modern ID processing system and purchased a home for the Electoral Office.

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Discussion

4 thoughts on “Elections chief makes proposal on reducing bloated voter’s list

  1. Why not post a copy of the list at the post office or police station (if there are any) in each constituency. People can check out their names on the list and can also report on the names of deceased persons. The best way to get an accurate voters list is to get the communities involved.

    Posted by pvpalmer | May 23, 2013, 17:04
  2. Wrong, its an inflated voters list and a bloated Gonsalves.

    Posted by peterbinose | May 26, 2013, 15:15
  3. So what is your solution Peter? Correct or build on my bridge instead of trying to breaking it down.
    There is also the libraries where voters list can be posted. I am not sure why this cannot be done. Can you or somebody else explain, if it’s against some law to have voters’ lists posted where folks can see them?
    How can the voters list be 5,000 less than the estimated size of the population? The figures don’t add up. How can anyone claim transparency and integrity in a list where babies and dead people are probably listed and voting.
    This thing has to do with figures and both parties should have no problem analyzing them. Here is another idea: Both parties should get copies the list for every constituency and have their supporters go around and verify the validity of the names. At the end of the day both parties can compare the accuracy of the individual list.
    Is it too much to ask the parties to forget politics, for just this time and come together for the benefit of the country?

    Posted by pvpalmer | May 27, 2013, 03:55
  4. PV, I was not trying to break down what you write, I think you are right. We should take any steps possible. What I refered to was what was in the main article.

    I am thinking about how to get this sorted out so as the ULP cannot steal the next election by flying in non residents who do not live here, live elsewhere, and have not lived here continually during the last 6 months prior to an election. Because that is what has happened in the past, mass fraud was committed.

    I am thinking about opening a web site where people can write into and leave messages and lists of people that do not qualify, investigate it and publish it.

    Let there be no doubt I consider that the ULP were previously elected by this kind of fraud and also bribery, there is evidence of such in one or more WIKILEAK documents.

    I shall certainly send names to the US and Canadian government of their residents and citizens involved in this matter of serious election fraud.

    I am sending later today an email to the US and Canadian State Departments, making them aware or the inflated voters list.

    Mr US Ambassador in Barbados, please take note. It would be preferable that before you disperse any funds to SVG, that you ask questions about our voters list.

    Posted by peterbinose | May 28, 2013, 15:56

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