GECOM poised to scrap supplementary voters list of persons who haven’t collected ID cards

Last Updated on Wednesday, 4 December 2019, 18:31 by Writer

Pro-coalition elections commissioners Desmond Trotman, Vincent Alexander and Charles Corbin.

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) seemed set to scrap its plan to have a supplementary list of thousands of voters who do not collect their national identification cards to prove that they are alive and in the country, but there is no decision yet on the new method that will be used to heighten security, an elections commissioner says.

Government-backed elections commissioner, Vincent Alexander says a supplementary list is likely to cause confusion on polling day, March 2, 2020. “The view was expressed that a supplementary list could be a source of confusion because the electoral list is done in alphabetical order and what you’ll find is that somebody who is on the list in the first instance and then they have to go to another list in the second instance and it could be an untidy arrangement so it’s under review,” he said.

Alexander says so far just over 800 of the 18,409 persons have collected their cards from GECOM’s offices countrywide.

The High Court has barred GECOM from unconstitutionally removing the names of persons from the national register of registrants from which persons 18 years and older are drawn to be placed on the voters list.

The GECOM Commissioner said while the creation of a supplementary voters’ list is under review, there must be a system to flag the names of others who have not collected their cards. “We haven’t really finalised any other option but we are committed to ensure that there is a mechanism that would highlight that here are people who have not uplifted their ID cards,” Alexander said.

The pro-governing coalition election commissioners fear that with the now more than 17,000 uncollected identification cards, there is room for people to vote in the names of dead persons and migrants.

GECOM is awaiting a report from fingerprint crossmatching process to determine what would be done with data from the July-August, 2019 house-to-house registration exercise, and there is no data yet for cross-matching of the claims and objections exercise.

The United Nations, Carter Centre and the European Union have been approved to observe the March 2, 2020 general and regional administrative council elections.

Nominations Day is January 10, 2020.