The Electoral Commission is preparing to undertake a Voter Verification Exercise for the purpose of improving the accuracy of the Electors’ Register.
This is intended to assist in determining the names of persons eligible to be removed from the Register on account of the fact that they are deceased, or have been absent from the State for the statutory period.
The exercise will be conducted by enumerators appointed by the Commission, who will be required to make house to house visits over a period of about six weeks, commencing on or about July 1, 2018.
The enumerators will perform their functions under the supervision of the Registering and Assistant Registering Officers in each constituency.
The Commission intends that the information collected would be reviewed against data from the Civil Register of Deaths, as well as information from the Immigration Department and a determination made of persons who are eligible to be removed.
This list of names will be published in the Official Gazette, as well as in weekly newspapers and online. Registered electors who dispute that they are eligible to be removed, will then have the opportunity to send to the Electoral Office, a statutory declaration, as well as supporting documentation, confirming that they are entitled to remain registered.
The Commission will very shortly issue appropriate regulations to facilitate the conduct of the verification exercise, to include an appeal mechanism by which persons who dispute their removal from the Register may challenge such removal.
In the meantime, the Electoral Commission renews its call for Parliament to give urgent consideration to the passage of the bills currently before it, for amendment to the electoral laws to facilitate the implementation of the National Identification Card.
The Commission currently has available to it, all of the equipment necessary for the enrolment of electors and issuance of the cards. It is also organising for the training of staff, as well as putting in place, all other systems required to ensure that once the legislation is passed, it will be possible to immediately proceed with enrolment. The Commission is however unable to proceed to actual enrolment, without the legislative framework.
The Electoral Commission looks forward to the cooperation of the general public in ensuring that the verification exercise is conducted smoothly and is effective in improving the accuracy of the lists available for elections in the State.