Categorized | National News

“Bad Apples” Weeded Out of Registration Process

The Minister Responsible for Elections Dr. Bernard Nottage yesterday revealed that individuals who have hindered the voter registration process have been removed, while the government has plans to remove even more.

Dr. Nottage revealed as much while responding to comments Tall Pines MP Leslie Miller made in the House of Assembly on Wednesday.

Mr. Miller yesterday charged that workers deployed by the Parliamentary Department continue to “harass” potential voters, thereby discouraging Bahamians from registering.

Meantime Dr. Nottage insisted the government will continue to rid the system of individuals who make the process challenging.

“We will deal with it as expeditiously as we can, with these repeated stories about difficulty during registering. This evening I speak to the supervisors. Every single day of my life almost there is some story what persons have told me,” Dr. Nottage said.

“We have discontinued the use of several of the advising officers who have been found to continue to make these unnecessary requirements. In spite of it, the complaints still continue to come,” he said.

“We will continue to do our best to make sure they cease and desist,” he added.

During his contribution, Mr. Miller said that interested voters are being turned away for not having sufficient documents.

However, Mr. Miller insisted that in such cases, voters are being asked to produce more than is required.

He noted that Dr. Nottage previously stated that the only documented requirement for registration is a valid passport.

Mr. Miller lamented that this continued “harassment” is prohibiting the registration process.

“These people are not following the rules. They are intimidating people and causing Bahamians not to want to go and register,” Mr. Miller said.

“This is a serious matter sir. I’m just asking the minister to again please, inform those persons who have a responsibility, to stop harassing Bahamians from registering to vote because that’s what they are doing,” he said.

The drama surrounding the voting process began some months back when individuals complained of being turned away because of inappropriate attire.

Many, including Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner expressed disgust with the actions of personnel of the Parliamentary Department.

The number of voters registered now exceeds 112,000, more than 60,000 less when compared to totals in 2012.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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