March 17, 2015
Elections supervisor meets with Government, Opposition to discuss voters’ list clean-up

The number of names that stand to be removed from the voters’ list, should an amendment be made to the Representation of the People Act, will depend on the cut-off date agreed to by parliamentarians.

Representatives of the Unity Labour Party (ULP) and the New Democratic Party (NDP), the two political parties represented in Parliament, are meeting today with supervisor of elections Sylvia Findlay to review a draft proposal for an amendment to the Act.{{more}}

For years, there have been complaints that the voters’ list is bloated, mainly with the names of persons who have migrated and have been overseas for more than five years. While the supervisor of elections has the authority to remove such names from the list, she has to be satisfied that there is enough evidence to do so.

According to the Representation of the People Act, there are four situations in which a voter’s name can be removed: if a citizen resides outside of the country for five years or more; the death of the voter; if an objection to the voter’s registration has been allowed; or if the voter has been disqualified under any law for registration of exercising his/her right to vote.

The supervisor of elections had suggested that legislation be passed so that anyone who does not have one of the newer ID cards, issued either in 2009 or in 2004, must re-register for their name to remain on the voters’ list.

However, Findlay explained to SEARCHLIGHT yesterday that the number of names which stand to be removed would depend on the cut-off point agreed to by parliamentarians. She said if it is agreed that 2009 is the cut-off year, more names would be removed than if 2004 is the year decided upon.

Today’s meeting, which is being held at the Anglican Pastoral Centre, begins at 10 a.m.

General elections are constitutionally due in St Vincent and the Grenadines by March 2016.