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Apr 16, 2019

Jerrylyn Bruce Vs Chief Election Officers; Emails Leaked!

Public officer Jerrylyn Bruce remains steadfast in her position that the Chief Elections Officer is politically victimizing her; a claim which Josephine Tamai has categorically denied. Disciplinary actions have been taken against Bruce and she stands accused of disenfranchising electors. But according to the career public officer, she was following the rules and accuses Tamai of circumventing procedures to accommodate political supporters. A string of email which shows lengthy conversations between Bruce and Tamai was leaked to the media and Hipolito Novelo took a deeper look. 


Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

Jerrylyn Bruce sits within the walls of the Charles Bartlett Hyde Building but outside the offices of the Elections and Boundaries Department. She has been reassigned; taken off from the field and placed behind a desk so to speak. Disciplinary action has been taken against Bruce for “failure to carry out Directives, (and) Omitting Applicants from Registrar of Electors for the Monthly Supplemental List”.


Josephine Tamai

Josephine Tamai, Chief Elections Officer

“I chose to bring her up to the Central Office to give other task that we have assigned in the meantime. The decision was not to make any suspension or anything or that sort because again that could have been another avenue that could have been taken but I don’t see that necessary at this time.”


And at this time, the matter is being prepared to be taken before the Public Service Commission. Bruce is accused of wrongfully disallowing Trevor Bradley, David Bradley, and Manuela Marin from being added to the list of electors. Through her attorney Darrell Bradley, Bruce refutes these serious allegations. Trevor Bradley submitted his application on July twenty-sixth using only his social security card.


Josephine Tamai

“In this specific case, this person was qualified. He applied for re-registration on the twenty sixth of July under registration so to say that this person only took in a social security card the public knows that during the re-registration exercise persons were allowed to take in only a social security card.”


During the re-registration exercise, several persons in Burrell Boom Village presented only their Social Security cards but their applications were denied and they were placed on the disallowed list.


Hipolito Novelo

“It says that you have not met the qualifications as a citizen of Belize.”


Jennifer Baptist

Jennifer Baptist, Belizean

“That is why; that I am an alien. Totally telling you that I am an alien. I am born and grow here and still yet I turn an alien.”


Hipolito Novelo

“You have been voting since you were eighteen…”


Jennifer Baptist

“…eighteen and I fifty-seven. That is forty years.”


Hipolito Novelo

“Now they are telling you that you have been disallowed from the list.”


Jennifer Baptist

“That I can’t vote.”


Countless emails were sent between registering officers and others from the Elections and Boundaries Department. On November fifth, an email reminds registering officers that they were requested to send out letters to all applicants who were placed on pending, whose name could not be verified at vital stats or immigration department, informing them that their information could not be verified and that they would need to present their source document. If the registering officer receives feedback from Vital Stats and Immigration stating that there is no information on the application, and if the registering officer has written the applicant requesting them to present their source document and have not done so, then the registering officer has no other choice to make the decision to disallow the applicant. In another email, the registering officers are reminded that in respect to disallowance that matter is to be treated as a New Application for registration.

On January twenty-ninth, a notice of disallowance of registration was issued for Trevor Bradley on the basis that there is insufficient documentation to process his application. He was advised to reapply with supporting documents.

But according to Tamai, that application was not treated as a new application as the registering officers had been instructed to do so.


Josephine Tamai

“That person applied to be registered from the twenty-six of July 2019. It is not a new application. As the Chief Elections Officer, I have a responsibility to ensure that persons who are qualified to be registered electors are not disenfranchised in any way.”


In an email dated Thursday, March twenty-eight, Bruce tells Tamai that “Mr. Bradley is not eligible to go on the March 2019 register.” However, in a responding email, Tamai tells Bruce that “as the Chief Elections Officer, I am informing you that Mr. Trevor Bradley is ELIGIBLE to be included on the March supplementary list and NOT April as you indicated.’ Bruce is accusing Tamai of political victimization, a claim which Tamai has categorically denied. Bruce remains steadfast in her position. Hipolito Novelo, News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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