Voter registration to return to constituencies

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Residents who are awaiting their voter’s IDs can rest easy knowing the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC) will be re-opening registration stations in 17 constituencies.
Human Resource and Training Officer of AABEC, Ian Hughes, explained that the registration which has been centralised at its Factory Road location for the past 22 months needs expansion.
“We have also heard from the stakeholders in the process who have said the best thing to do is to go back into the constituencies and so we have listened and dialogued with these stakeholders and in short order we will go back into the constituencies,” Hughes said.
Since the Factory Road relocation, the main opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) contended that the move was illegal and removed the level of transparency required for such an important process.
Hughes explained that ABEC has faced technical challenges with doing so before July as previously planned.
“We have had to do a few other technical surveys and ensure that certain platforms are in place in order for us to be operating efficiently,” Hughes said.
“Prior to 2013, it was all a paper trail so it would’ve been easier then but if you can remember we had many issues during the 2013 re-registration exercise and so we want to ensure we don’t have any connectivity issues, we want to make sure everything is working the way it should be.”
He also said the Commission will be closed on Friday, August 18, so that the near 100 employees can participate in training as they head towards the expansion.
The closure includes its headquarters and registration units with regular hours of operation resuming on Monday, August 21.
According to ABEC’s website a general election is constitutionally due every five years but the Prime Minister can hold one sooner if he or she desires and it should be held within three months after the dissolution of Parliament.

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