Wed | Sep 22, 2021

24,000 new voters now in position to help determine next government

Published:Sunday | December 1, 2019 | 7:01 AMErica Virtue - Senior Gleaner Writer

Glasspole Brown, director of elections.
Glasspole Brown, director of elections.

Jamaica’s 18th general election could be held on the voters’ list produced by the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) and published yesterday with the addition of more than 24,000 new voters.

The EOJ, in a release, said the names of 71,529 dead electors have also been removed, compared to the list published in May, a figure which represents the largest number of electors removed in recent times. As a result, the list has shrunk from 1,945,551 electors in May 2019, to 1,897,146 on November 30.

Jamaica’s election boss, Glasspole Brown, told The Sunday Gleaner that the total number removed was 72,421, a small percentage of whom were found to be “duplicate” registrations. Duplicate registration and removal accounted for 892 individuals.

He said a concerted effort was made to surgically remove deceased persons.

“Our team has been working hard to identify and confirm the identity of dead electors on the voters’ list and we are pleased with the results thus far. The last times we recorded any number remotely close to 71,000 is the dead elector removal exercise we conducted in 2012 and our reverification exercise from 2004 to 2006, so this is the highest number of persons we have removed recently in any one registration phase,” he said.

“Our plan now is to continue the work to complete the project and to ensure we continuously improve on the number of dead electors we identify and remove each year.”

The significant increase in the removal of the names of electors who have died is attributed to the Dead Elector Removal Exercise, which entered the second phase in March this year. Phase II is aimed at confirming reports of electors identified as deceased during house-to-house visits in the first phase, and on an ongoing basis through information from several sources.

Brown said he was pleased with the progress of the project so far.

A total of 24,016 new electors were added, stated the EOJ release.

DUPLICATIONS REMOVED

Individuals identified as “duplications” were removed after crossmatching was done by the office. Some of these duplications were found in different constituencies. Individuals were removed after they were called to meetings with EOJ representatives. Another small percentage was found to be shy of the voting age of 18 years when they were initially registered.

Elector Registration Identification (Voter ID) cards for those added to the November 30 voters’ list will be available by mid-December, and should be collected by electors at the EOJ office in the constituency where they live.

The next voters’ list will be published May 30 next year.

Meanwhile, the EOJ’s voter identification renewal continues.

Electors with ID cards issued 2015 or before must visit an EOJ constituency office or ID Card Renewal Centre. Electors whose ID cards have issue dates in 2016, or after, will automatically receive a new ID card at their constituency office once the cards are ready. The validity of current voter ID cards has been extended until 2020.

erica.virtue@gleanerjm.com