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On November 7, 2022 I penned a letter in which I made two fundamental points:-
- ‘It is the practice of legislators to make laws with the intent of eliminating specified wrong doings (mischiefs).’
- ‘Casting of votes, at the 2020 elections, in the names of persons who were either not present or dead was verified by the relevant authorities.’ This is a wrong doing that needs to be addressed.
I also acknowledged the Chief Justice`s Ruling that the Register of Registrants could not be retired, or names deleted from it other than those of the registered dead. The implication being that the extracted voters` list would have the names of persons whose deaths were not registered, including the thousands of registered Guyanese who died overseas.
In an effort to confront and prevent the mischief of those names being used for fraudulent voting, I recommended that: “provisions of the Representation of the People Act which provide for the elector ‘to hand his or her identification paper to the poll clerk’ be amended to provide for the elector to also have his or her finger prints, electronically, matched with those of the named elector which was captured at the time of registration, as the basis for the determination of his or her identity and eligibility as a particular voter/elector/registrant.”
The letter which included this recommendation was also copied to the Minister responsible for Governance. In effect, I was contributing to the process for the reform of the electoral laws.
No acknowledgement or response was received.
On November 17, 2022 I wrote another letter on the issue. In that letter, I referred to Regulation 40 of the National Registration Act. I specified that I was citing those Regulations to indicate that the PPP/C Government had acknowledged, since 2005, when they promulgated those regulations, the possible mischief of votes being cast for persons not-present. Yet in Nandlall`s letters of November 20 and 21 he sought to suggest that I was proposing, ‘approbating’, the invocation of Regulation 40. In doing so he completely ignored what I actually proposed in my letter of November 7, 2022 and cited above.
In Nandlall`s letters of November 20 and 21, he indulges in skirting the issues, blaming others for his omissions and seeking to refute the irrefutable. Here are some examples of those acts.
- He completely ignores my proposition for the use of biometric electronic finger print identification at the place of poll, but deems me partially guilty for not solving the problem of the deletion of the names of the overseas dead from the list. I have identified the real problem and submitted a proposal which he has not addressed nor have the Government nominated commissioners at GECOM addressed it. He ignores it and they sideline it. My proposal on bio-metric finger print identification at the place of poll has languished at GECOM for months. Thankfully, he accepts that the overseas dead still reside on our voters list.
- He regurgitates all of the measures that are in place to stop voter impersonation and on that basis contends that it cannot occur. That at best is conjecture. The fact is, it did occur. The correlation of the names of those listed on the pink voters` list as having voted and the immigration records clearly identifies persons who were not in the country and for whom votes were cast.
- While, GECOM has responsibility for delivering a “free, fair and compliant elections”, it is the reform process, which is under his command that can propose the amendment of Section 69 of the Representation of the People Act to provide for the use of electronic bio-metric fingerprint identification at the place of poll.
I close my case by embellishing the question which I posed in my letter of November 7, 2022. If Nandlall accepts that we are yet to find a mechanism for the removal of the names of the overseas dead from the voters` list, why is he so fiercely opposing finger print identification at the place of poll?