Grenada opposition party points to duplication of names on voters list

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ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada, Oct. 26, CMC – Electoral officials have sought to assure the public that electronic voting is secure and no one will be able to vote twice on election day.
The assurance came from Ferdinand Phillip, Civic and education officer at the Parliamentary Elections Office, who said because voters are identified by fingerprints in the voting system “it will be highly impossible for a voter to vote twice even though the name appears twice on the eligible voters’ list.”
Phillip was responding to concerns raised Deputy Political leader of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC),  Joseph Andall, who said the party had identified a number of duplicated names and other irregularities on the voters’ list.
“Duplication of names can occur for different reasons, chief among them are incorrect spelling of a name and change of name due to marriage or divorce but because the finger print for the person will remain the same, no one person will be able to cast two ballots on election day,” said Phillip.
Andall,who was speaking at a news conference earlier this week said the party found 198 instances of duplication of names and other anomalies on the electoral list.
“We have witness in some cases, attempts at voter padding,” he added.
“I have concrete evidence of at least one person in the St Patrick West area, that person has never resided not even for a day in St Patrick West but in exchange for a government job, the person has made to switch her registration to another constituency,” said Andall who informed reporters that the NDC is yet to file any complains or objectives forms with the Parliamentary Elections Office.
But according to Phillip, the legislation governing the Electoral process provides for any member of the public to scrutinise the list and to point out errors if they are identified.
“We are yet to receive any formal complaint or objection from the NDC about it, but we what the public to know that once any complaint is filed will give it immediate attention,” he said.
Grenada adopted an electronic electoral registration system in 2012 and it was first used for the 2013 general elections.
Phillip said most of the duplicated names found were from that era because a number of persons logged information into the system incorrectly.
“These people would have requested certain changes and it’s during the period of waiting for approval a person’s name can appear twice because we cannot just remove someone from the system. It must be approved,” he said.
“But what is important is that the fingerprint system follows the person and once that fingerprint is in the system it will not be removed, further the fingerprint goes with the number assigned so its highly impossible for one person to vote while but it’s possible for a name to appear twice,” he said.
A general election is constitutionally due next year.

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