Problems To The End Of Voter Registration

Some people waiting to be registered in the All Saints West constituency yesterday evening. (Photo by Martina Johnson/OBSERVER media)

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Voter registration was dogged by problems right down to the last minute yesterday evening with the Internet connection failing at the All Saints West registration centre, resulting in dozens being turned away.

Spokesperson for the Antigua & Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC) Anne Harewood George said the connectivity problem was rectified within an hour, but she could not say why individuals were turned away after 5:30 pm.

“For whatever reason, there was a drop in connectivity in Internet…we had things rectified, they had to confer with our technician to fix things. As far as I know I’m not aware of any other hiccups,” Harewood George said.

Regarding the claim of people being turned away, the PRO said, “What I know we’ve been doing is that as long as people were in the line at 7 pm they would be allowed to register.”

OBSERVER media was at the registration site located on All Saints main road yesterday evening when several individuals were told no more names would be added to the list.

One woman, who did not want to be named, said yesterday was her third attempt at registering.

“I came here about 5:25 pm and they said they are not taking any names, the system is down and they have to speak to a supervisor. The system is always down. This is nonsense,” the woman said.

Up to 7:40 pm, Harewood George said the commission was informed that 1,362 people were registered for the day. This brought the overall total of registrants from September 30 to November 4 to 47,972.

The PRO said she expected to have the final figure by 11 pm yesterday as many centres were still registering people at the time of going to press.

(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)