St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Members of the public are being asked to play a role in ensuring that the country has a clean voters’ list.
That appeal, from Supervisor of Elections Elvin Bailey, who describes a clean list as one in which voters are placed in the constituency that they reside in.
He explains that the public has a huge role in ensuring that’s the case.
Supervisor of Elections Bailey says the public has a responsibility to examine the monthly lists when they are produced and published, to ascertain who their neighbours are.
He recommends that they raise the alarm if they see people listed as neighbours who they know are not their next door neighbours.
That alarm, if verified by the Registration Officer, would prevent the activation (i.e. acceptance) of the fake neighbor, Bailey says in an article on the subject.
Members of the public are being told that the publication of the annual list presents a second opportunity for scrutiny.
That is the period traditionally set aside for claims and objections and hearings.
A third opportunity arises in cases where the Chief Registration Officer has reasonable cause to believe that there appears in the list of voters the name of any person who is not qualified for inclusion, or that any insertion in respect of a person who is not entitled to be included in the list has been made.
Provisions are made for the holding of a special revision to investigate such cases.
The protocol includes the Chief Registration Officer giving at least five days’ notice in writing to the person involved of the time and place at which such revision will take place, and at such time and place consider the eligibility of such person to be included in the list of voters.
According to Mr Bailey, if the Chief Registration Officer decides that the name of the person should not be included in the list of voters, he or she shall delete the name and initial the deletion, with the change reflected in the next list published.
Earlier this year Attorney General Vincent Byron disclosed that a house to house voter’s list enumeration process would take place in St. Kitts and Nevis in 2017, as part of the government’s efforts to ensure voters of the Federation are appropriately registered where they live.
He said the authorities want to ensure that the system used to elect representatives is fair.
“You must have proper rules, proper laws and we must conduct ourselves properly. For years and years in this country we have seen our electoral process broken down and mashed up,” Attorney General Byron said at the time at a Town Hall meeting.
He indicated that the problem of people being allowed to register to vote where they don’t live has been going on for years.
Supervisor of Elections Bailey says his office is ready to take up the challenge posed by that problem, and that he has an army of men and women whose job it is to clean up the register and to keep it clean.
There are eleven Registration Officers, one per constituency.
These are the field officers. Four women, 7 men.
According to Elvin Bailey, they are all well respected within their communities, and were all independently chosen by him in his capacity as Supervisor of elections.