Youths can vote without H2H registration

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Persons who are currently not on the national voters’ list can become registered in time for early elections without the need for house-to-house registration.

The last house-to-house registration was done in 2008.

Thereafter, various cycles of continuous registration were done to ensure persons were given unlimited opportunities to get registered, from as early as the age of 14.

When a person who was registered since he or she was 14, turns 18, their name is transferred to the voters’ list.

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has pointed out that therefore, there is no need for house-to-house registration, as evident during the 2015 General and Regional Elections.

“We’ve had General Elections in 2015 and we did not have a house-to-house registration. It’s absolutely false, a fallacy to claim that house-to-house registration is a necessity for preparing a list to go to General and Regional Election,” the Opposition Leader posited during a recent press conference.

He further reasoned that during the local government elections, the voters’ list still facilitated what was accepted by all stakeholders as credible elections.

Government has been pushing for house-to-house registration, saying that it is a necessity before elections and that young people will not be able to vote without it.

But this is not true. A claims and objections period can be embarked upon to ensure persons who are not registered, get the opportunity to do so.

“In the claims and objections period, which is a short period, any person who is not on the list can get on the list in that period, any person who is in the wrong area and requires a transfer can get a transfer,” Jagdeo explained.

Furthermore, he explained that “people who would have attained the age of 14 as of October 31, 2018 have been registered through the last continuous registration process and so their names would be extracted and added to the voters list”.

GECOM’s attorney Stanley Marcus told the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) that the only way the elections body can prepare for elections is through house-to-house registration, with a voters’ list being ready by December 25, 2019 – the earliest.

But GECOM’s very own legal officer, Excellence Dazzle submitted a legal opinion to the Commission, stating that house-to-house registration is not a necessity and that a claims and objections process can address the current concerns about the voters’ list.

But it was rejected by the government aligned commissioners, who began to tarnish the attorney’s character.

According to Jagdeo, these actions and delaying tactics prove that the coalition government is hesitant to head to the polls. “This government fears elections, they know what is going to happen.”