Jamaica News: The Electoral Office of Jamaica’s (EOJ) ‘Dead Elector Removal Exercise’ is expected to result in significant savings to the country in terms of election costs, says Director of Elections, Glasspole Brown.
He was speaking at a recent JIS Think Tank to announce the launch of the exercise, which is aimed at identifying and removing from the voters’ list the names of electors who have died since 1998.
“Ultimately, an updated voters’ list will lead to financial and statistical benefit to Jamaica. When an election is called, we prepare for 100 per cent turnout. After this exercise, we expect to prepare for a more accurate number of electors – fewer ballots printed, fewer polling stations, fewer election supplies needed – resulting in considerable savings to the Jamaican people,” he said.
He noted that the last election cost in excess of $2 billion, and “if we are able to cut that list by removing the persons who are dead, that means that the cost would be going down substantially”.
The voters’ list, of almost two million names, is updated twice per year through verification exercises to add the names of voters 18 years and older.
While Mr. Brown shared that a new voters’ list would have been desirable, he noted that the estimated cost of over $3.5 billion prohibited a reverification exercise to generate that list.
In the 2005-2006 reverification exercise, approximately 350,000 names were removed from the voters’ list. This enabled the EOJ to reduce the number of polling stations from over 7,000 to about 5,800. Consequently, fewer workers were needed by the EOJ for election day.
Mr. Brown said that a further benefit of the Dead Elector Removal Exercise is that “we will be providing to the nation, an updated list that will result in more accurate voter statistics, reflecting a truer picture of the number of electors who have voted on election day”.
The updated list will also help the EOJ in reducing the occurrence of voter fraud.
“At the end of the day, we are bound to benefit in terms of savings and in terms of carrying out of an election, and, therefore, we appeal to the public to assist us in the process to achieve our targets,” Mr. Brown said.
Persons are advised to submit to the Electoral Office in their constituency, passport, driver’s licence or voter identification card along with supporting documents such as death certificates, burial orders and funeral programmes for relatives, friends and acquaintances who have died.
Source: JIS News