Supervisor of Elections, Dame Lorna Simon says she is pleased with how the January 18th general elections were conducted and she’s happy the silly season is finally over.
Simon used a press conference called by the Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC) to praise her staff for their hard work during the weeks leading up to the elections and the day itself.
She said while there was adequate financing that enabled ABEC to purchase much-needed equipment and supplies, nothing could be done without all hands on deck.
Meanwhile, Simon also used the opportunity to iron out what she said were several misconceptions circulating during the elections about ABEC’s handling of the process.
There were suggestions that the Register for Elections was published later than prescribed by the law, a matter addressed by Simon.
“We consulted with our legal counsel and because of the public holidays, [between the issuance of the Writ of Elections and publication of register}, we are confident that it was published on the correct date. In any event, Section 27 (4) of the [elections] Act noted that for anything in connection with the printing and publication of the register of electors for Elections, ABEC has the right to select the date by which the register is published.
She said “if we thought that we had done something wrong, the commission could issue an order to correct that. We are, however, confident that we are correct,”
Another issue of contention was a claim that the supposed lateness of the publication of the register did not allow claims and objections to be heard.
“Let me dispel that right away: no objections can be made on the Register for Elections. Objections are made when the Revised List is published with the names of those individuals, who registered up to the end of November 2022. The period for claims and objections ended on January 9, 2023, and no further claims and objections are allowed after that date,”, she said.
There was also the issue of cleaning up the voters to ensure the names of people who have died are removed from the list
“There is a letter that goes to the Civil Registry, and we collect the death certificates. We need proof that a person has passed that can be verified. Currently, there is no automatic notification from the Civil Registry to our offices; we have to request the information, “she explained.
Residents are also encouraged to report to ABEC any dead person’s name on the electoral list