GECOM Chairman votes in favour of verifying over 20,000 registrants

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The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has decided to move ahead with the field verification of 20,556 names of persons who were registered during the truncated House-to-House registration exercise.

The Commission took a vote at its statutory meeting Tuesday which saw the opposition nominated Commissioners voting in favour of the exercise while the three Government nominated Commissioners opposed.

Therefore, the deciding vote was cast by Chairman retired justice Claudette Singh who voted in favour of the field verification.

Commissioner Robeson Benn told reporters shortly after the meeting that the exercise will be conducted by GECOM and other stakeholders.

“[The data] is supposed to be verified in the field, advertised for information to the public, persons would have to be employed to get this done and the stakeholders have the opportunity to be involved,” he noted.

A visibly pleased Benn said the verification will begin on Wednesday and will last for five days.

Benn noted that the latest data from the secretariat shows that 4,020 of the persons were duplicates on the preliminary list of electors while the names of the other 16,369 were not found.

One of the persons found to be on the unmatched list of registrants is retired Justice Cecil Kennard who is also on the Preliminary List of Electors when checks were made by GECOM.

Explaining how some of the fingerprints would not have matched by the overseas contractor, Benn said there were issues with bad fingerprinting and the exchanging of hands.

He expressed hope that the verification exercise will be done with much diligence and completed on time for the preparation of the revised list of electors.

The News Room was informed that the Commission has a December 29 deadline for the preparation of the Revised List of Electors.

The Commission has been discussing the use of house-to-house data since the exercise was brought to an end on August 31. The Commissioner feels GECOM has wasted too much time going back and forth on the issue.

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