Jagdeo does not support opposition’s biometric voting system proposal


The Opposition-nominated Commissioners on the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) have asked for the use of biometric systems in the country’s voting process but Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo is against this.

A biometric system is one that uses physical characteristics such as fingerprints to help identify people. And the opposition-nominated Commissioners believe that this will help prevent voter impersonation and/ other fraud.

But Jagdeo believes that such a system would prevent people from exercising their constitutional right to vote.

“We will not support the use of biometrics as a restriction on people’s right to vote,” Jagdeo said during a press conference on Friday at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre at Liliendaal.

He also suggested that if this biometric system is introduced, it could potentially become a tactic used to challenge election results.

“We are not going to fall into that trap again,” Jagdeo said.

He, however, assured the public that the government will examine measures that will allow the voting process to be strengthened on election day.

The introduction of a biometric system at polling stations is among the recommendations the opposition has for proposed amendments to the Representation of the People Act.

The amendments, Jagdeo also said at the press conference, will be presented to the National Assembly by October and shall be passed before the Local Government Elections expected by year-end.

Meanwhile, the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) opposition claims that there is a bloated voters’ list that should be cleansed before elections. There have also been calls to re-introduce a residency requirement for voting.

GECOM Chairman Justice (Ret’d) Claudette Singh recently said that the names on the list were legally registered and claims and objections exercise would allow persons to object to any irregularities.

This exercise will commence on August 22, 2022, allowing eligible persons to make a claim on or before September 11, 2022 to be included on the official list of electors, providing that they were not previously registered.

Meanwhile, objections against the inclusion of names in the preliminary list of electors can be tendered to the Registration Officer of the registration area from August 22, 2022 to September 15, 2022.

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