The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not represent the opinions or editorial position of I-Witness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected]

There are a couple of things that jump out at me every time I have the opportunity to look at the voters list, but in particular, the format in which it is distributed makes me wonder about certain things.

The voter’s list is sent out from the electoral office as a Microsoft word document; a document that is editable. If this is the same document that is sent out and used as the official document on Election Day, I think it leaves a lot of room for compromise and this practice needs to be reconsidered to ensure that the election process is protected at all cost and at all levels. As stated, this is just another document — the distributed list — that can be modified. Names can be added and/or removed by anyone with the required knowledge. My suggestion to the Electoral Office is to have a printed edition of the list produced and published just for the election, so as to reduce the possibility of compromise. Granted, producing several hundred printed copies of this document may be costly, but one cannot and should not attempt to put a price on our democracy, and the process by which it is maintained. There are about 225 polling stations. Assuming at least three copies per station, we’re looking at about 675 copies, give or take. At four copies per polling station, we’re still under 1,000 copies total.

If the electronic system is not secure enough, which it doesn’t appear to be, we ought to consider other means by which the integrity of the voting process can be upheld. I think it is still okay to distribute electronic copies of the voters list to the different parties, solely for use in preliminary checks and analysis prior to the election, but that should be as far as it goes. In fact, I would venture to say that it needs to be distributed in an electronic format, so as to make the analytical process easier. However, distributing the list in this format (Microsoft Word), for official use at polling stations on Election Day is a cause for concern, at least in my mind.

If we do not have a more secure electronic means by which the list can be accessed and distributed, then I am proposing a published hard copy to be the only document that is used on Election Day. Accomplishing this may mean changes in certain things. For instance, I would suspect that we would need to change or implement a cutoff date for registration so as to allow enough time for the production and publishing of the voters list document. We may also wish to consider having a sign off, so that the necessary parties all agree to the final list before it is produced and published. For what it’s worth, it ought to be considered. The bottom line is we need to use the means that we have available to make this process as secured as possible.

Again, I am saying that IF the list that I have seen in the Microsoft Word format is the same one that is distributed in that manner for official use on election day, then I am suggesting that it be changed; so as to reduce the possibilities of compromise, considering that the Word document can be modified after it has left the boundary of the electoral office. The system should ensure that everyone working at a polling station has the same unmodifiable official document that is issued by the electoral office.

1 Vincy

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

4 replies on “Voters’ list concerns #1”

  1. Peter Binose says:

    Thanks for the reminder and your very valid observations.

    Personally I am expecting a spread of election fraud to take place at the next election. It is about the only way the ULP can get re-elected considering the spite and nastiness they have generate and, the people and business’s they have destroyed, linked with all the fraud and corruption that has taken place.

    A dirty all-round government with dirty all-round policies and dirty all-round supporters.

  2. C. ben-David says:

    The main problem with the voters list is that it is not based on a proper house-to-house enumeration close to the actual election date as occurs in truly democratic countries all over the world. Eligible voters who are not home when they were canvassed would have the right to appear in person with proper ID to add their name at a recogized enumeration site. The list of eligible voters should be posted outside all police stations and post offices so that missed persons can correct their omission and ineligible voters can be reported to the authorites.

    Neither Party would support such a system since it would prevent them with tampering with the list of eligible voters when they are in power.

  3. Absolutely. There ought to be no price on democracy.

    There should be a dated, published, pre-amendment, identical copies in whichever places amendments are taken and made.

    Then after the cut-off date, a thorough, supervised review to ensure that all amendments are captured. A signing off. Then a second publishing. Too bad if it will cost money. That’s just too bad. Money seems to be available and all too accessible.

    Further than that, persons or agencies, who have made amendments or who have had amendments made should be provided with written confirmation of the amendment. There ought to be ample public awareness about the process and the importance of ensuring that eligible persons are on the voting list in their respective constituencies by the cut-off date. Use the same radio programmes that spout and drool drivel in the daytime. Use the television and radio news slots and every available conduit. This is as important as the campaign, if not more. It is about process.

    And now, the hell with how we never did it so before.

  4. Some answers please: Are there no voters’ lists available at police stations and libraries before the election? Are any voters’ lists available to each party so they can evaluate the accuracy of the name on the list? I will advise each candidate to get their supporters to review the list to insure it’s authentic. Every house in every village should be checked to ensure the person’s name on the list lives there. There should be no excuse later on to blame a fraudulent voters’ list. Now is the time to act, not on Election Day.

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