Categorized | National News

FNM Bemoans Voter Registration Blunders

Free National Movement (FNM) Party Chairman, Sidney Collie yesterday said the PLP government is responsible for the egregious blunders of the Parliamentary Registration Department.

Surrounded by candidates, Travis Robinson, Reuben Rahming, Vaughn Miller, and Lavaro Bowe, Mr. Collie said that the party does not trust the PLP government to adhere to local and internationally accepted democratic principles.

“For five years, we have seen this government cast aside the needs of our communities, as they have focused on helping themselves and their allies at the people’s expense.

Mr. Collie’s remarks came as he addressed the recent fiasco concerning the registration process at a press conference at the party’s headquarters.

“Yesterday afternoon, we reached out to the Parliamentary Commissioner to notify him that we found 72 pages of duplicate voter registrations; persons born over 200 years ago, and persons born in 2017.

“We have discovered persons born in 1764 on the register, 1787, 1878, 2017 and from our own analysis, we have multiple registrations of the same person with the same name first name, middle name, date of birth in multiple constituencies.

“We have been getting regular updates of the register and that is the reason why we were able to analyze 72 pages of complete irregularity.

“We have shared this with the Parliamentary Commissioner, from our own IT specialist and our consultants and our in-house special people,” Mr. Collie said.

Calling what is going on in the Parliamentary Registration Department negligence, but acknowledging that some things may be human error Mr. Collie said that the FNM has offered assistance to the Parliamentary Commissioner.

“We hope that the Parliamentary Commissioner and his team, because we suspect that they do not everything they need to do a good job; that the free will assistance of the FNM in identifying for them all of the issues that we have discovered, this register must be cleaned up and we are doing our part to ensure that it is.

“In the age of technology, in this age, why for the Mercy of God, is the Parliamentary Registration Department still handwriting in 2017, important data and statistical information, to comprise a voter registration?

“Why can’t the NIB card, the passport and other documentation be scanned into a system and uploaded into a national data base and the use of technology be used so that we can minimize human error,” Mr. Collie said.

Mr. Collie said that there are some other anomalies going on at the department that is also of grave concern.

“Also of serious concern to us today are the irregularities that have been brought to our attention including persons who were issued citizenship and voter’s card on the same day.

“Even though the registration department continues to encourage Bahamians to register to vote, they are putting road blocks at some voter registration centers, which deny Bahamians the opportunity to exercise their democratic rights,” Mr. Collie said.

“To add to the chaos at the registration department, we understand that there are now two separate operations, with one being led by the parliamentary commissioner and the other being led by the permanent secretary.

“To add insult to injury the staff members have been split in half, one group reporting to the parliamentary commissioner, being paid and receiving allowances on time and being directed to perform specialized tasks. The second operation led by the permanent secretary have been denied payments and allowances and are directed to perform other tasks,” Mr. Collie said.

That aside, Mr. Collie called for Mr. Christie and the PLP government to be fair and responsible in the registration process.

“We hold this Christie led government and his minister responsible for elections to ensure that every Bahamian citizen can exercise their democratic right without political shenanigans,” Mr. Collie said.

“The FNM is committed to ensuring that every Bahamian’s voice is heard and that our democracy is not hijacked by the PLP.”


Written by Jones Bahamas

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