Guyana Politics: GECOM nixes requirement for voters to verify registration

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has revoked the order requiring all prospective voters for the 2020 general and regional elections to verify their registration during the upcoming Claims and Objections (C&O) process.

By way of an order issued last week, Order No. 70 of 2019, GECOM had required every person whose name appears on the Preliminary List of Electors (PLE) to visit the Registration Office in their respective area with their National Identification Card to verify their registration record in order to be included in the Official List of Electors (OLE) for the polls.

However, a new order that has been issued no longer includes the requirement. “The National Registration (Residents) Order No. 70 of 2019, dated 26th September, 2019, is hereby revoked,” it says.

The C&O process is due to begin today…. October 01, 2019

It was not previously a requirement for persons on a preliminary voters’ list to verify their registration and there was no explanation for the change by the commission, which prompted concerns over the legality of the move.

Responding to questions from Stabroek News, Ward emphasised that as per the Order those who do not verify their registration will not be included in the official list.

The order was seen as a bid to impose a residency requirement for voting as Attorney General Basil Williams  has been trying to accomplish in court and opposition-nominated commissioner Sase Gunraj had argued that it contravened the ruling of Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire which states that the removal of names from the list would be unconstitutional unless said persons are deceased or otherwise disqualified under Article 159 (2) (3) or (4).

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