GECOM publishes Revised List of Electors; unverified ‘new’ registrants included

Chairperson of GECOM Justice Claudette Singh

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has made a decision to go ahead with the publishing of the Revised List of Electors (RLE) without any additional field verification for those persons that could not be found during the recent verification exercise.

This was confirmed on Tuesday by GECOM Public Relations Officer Yolanda Ward, who revealed that the list is already available on their website. She also noted that persons can check and visit GECOM offices in their area with their “pink slip” (slip given during registration) to make any necessary changes.

“The posting of the RLE in the field will commence very shortly. That is expected to conclude on January 4, 2020. So before the end (Tuesday), the PDF version of the RLE will be available on GECOM’s website,” she informed this publication.

“The RLE has been posted for any public scrutiny and to correct any information within the 21 days’ period. Therefore, where changes were not made, persons should visit the registration office in their area with the ‘pink slip’ from 4th January to inform and update accordingly. The final product would be in the Official List of Electors,” Ward subsequently explained.

It is understood that the Revised List of Electors contains a total of 661,378 names. According to Ward, the RLE will contain everyone captured during the Claims and Objections and the house-to-house verification.

It will also include the over 16,000 names from house-to-house that were flagged and led to GECOM launching a 5-day field exercise to verify them. Some of those persons were not found; however, they will be included.

When contacted, Government-nominated Commissioner Charles Corbin declined to comment on the issue. However, at least one GECOM Commissioner voiced his disapproval. According to Opposition-nominated Commissioner Sase Gunraj, while he does not agree with the move, steps will be taken to have these names monitored on Election Day.

The over 16,000 ‘new’ registrants were captured during the House-to-House (H2H) exercise that ran from July 20 to August 31, 2019. However, the Opposition – People’s Progressive Party (PPP) – has always contended that the H2H exercise was largely unsupervised and would produce flawed results.

Indeed, the Party subsequently found that many of the persons listed as new registrants are either dead or were previously registered. The concern that has been expressed is that this could be the gateway to fraudulent voting and election rigging.