In conversations with several former poll workers and GECOM administrators (officers) of past elections, they are of the view that there is no need for new house-to-house registration to hold timely elections.
The general public and the business community also feels the same. The voters’ list can be updated to include all eligible voters (adding those excluded) and to remove phantom voters (those who died or migrated) as well as transfer voters to their new polling locations (having changed place of residence). It is illogical and foolish to enter into an exercise of new voter registration when the law requires elections to be held by March 19. The only sensible thing to do is to amend the list to include all eligible voters. This can be done in two weeks.
No one would and should be excluded from the list as voters would be allowed to update their information and certify they are on the list. There has been continuous registration over the years allowing voters to be added to the list. So no one is excluded. Even those who attained age 14 are provided ID cards; when they reach voting age 18, their names are easily transferred to the voters’ list.
If anyone is excluded, their names can be added to the list. When an election is announced, it has been the tradition to allow eligible voters, not on the list, to be included. Instead of new voters’ registration as being bandied about by the Chairman, with the sole objective of delaying the constitutionally due elections, there can be a brief period of claims and objections (two weeks perhaps) – to remove ineligible voters and add legitimate voters.
So, elections can be held soon to resolve the matter pertaining to the no-confidence motion of December 21, 2018.
Dr Vishnu Bisram