Re-registration will not occur due to Spartan budget
Re-registration of voters is an issue that surfaces in election seasons. Earlier this week, the Peoples United Party held a press conference in which they felt it is time for a re-registration exercise because some constituencies have grown significantly. The Prime Minister acknowledged on Wednesday that certain constituencies have over seven thousand electors but by law, the exercise can only be done in July of this year. And as a result of budgetary cutbacks, he said there is no room for the re-registration this year. Barrow says that despite having discussed the issue with the Leader of the Opposition, Cabinet has decided that it will not happen.
“The redistricting is a must when in places like Stann Creek West, you are talking about over eight thousand electors and in very many other places you are talking about well in excess of seven thousand. I think that is a must, but of course the Elections and Boundaries Commission would have to look at that and determine how we proceed. In terms of re-registration, which under the law is to happen on July first, I don’t see that taking place. I think I may have raised it in a meeting I had with the Leader of the Opposition some time ago. I certainly meant to communicate with him my decided view after; or the deciding view of the cabinet and I am sorry, I didn’t get the chance. Well you all know why and I regret that he has to hear via this medium that we have in our own minds, in the Cabinet, taken a decision that re-registration can’t happen. It’s going to be for a number of reasons including the practical but it is going to be expensive. And quite honestly, in view of what I’ve said about the budget and having to cut expenditure, I don’t see us engaging in re-registration. If we are not to change the law, we would have had to do it in time for July so we are going to seek to change the law to put it off certainly for a while longer.”