Nov 14, 2019 News
The Official List of Electors (RLE) could end up being prepared with thousands of dead persons on it, if GECOM doesn’t sort out a thorough method of drawing out all of them.
Commissioner Vincent Alexander, after the most recent statutory meeting of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), expressed concern about this matter. It is one of the main reasons why the GECOM Chair, Justice Claudette Singh, opted to publish about 18,000 unverified names for scrutiny.
“Let’s see if you’re alive,” the Chair had said, at a press conference last Friday.
There is a system of cooperation between GECOM and the General Registrar’s Office (GRO) to make sure dead people don’t end up on the list.
Alexander said that the GRO would send GECOM a list of the registered dead, every three months. GECOM would, in turn, take that data and adjust their directory accordingly.
However, “that list is grossly inadequate,” Alexander said.
He posited that it does not at all cater for persons who die overseas.
Locally, an individual may die in a remote area in the Hinterland, and that could pose difficulties – or inconvenience – for the community to report. Even in Georgetown, deaths are sometimes unreported and left unregistered.
The Objection process doesn’t make it any easier to process the dead out of the list. Sometimes, scrutineers would object to certain registrants who would turn out to be dead.
In the case of Region Nine, Commissioners had pointed out that an alarming number of objections came from Annai and Lethem. When asked about this matter, Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo told Kaieteur News that most of the objections had come from the People’s Progressive Party (PPP).
The party decided to withdraw its objections after realising that most of the objections were deaths, according to Jagdeo. It had decided that it was GECOM’s job and that of the GRO to sort out the removal of deaths, and not a party.
But what happens if many of those deaths were never actually reported? “That’s a real issue,” Alexander said.
Many of those dead persons will, without a doubt, end up on the supplementary list GECOM has announced will accompany the verified voters on the RLE.
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