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Feb 2, 2012

Untrained public officers examined signatures

Fourteen public officers, who had not training on calligraphy, were commissioned to scrutinize the petition list of twenty thousand signatures over a period of two months. Tamai says that in some cases the election officers gave participants the benefit of the doubt based on the similarities in handwriting. At today’s press conference, Elections Officer Francisco Zuniga also demonstrated samples of common errors made during the exercise.

Voice of: Francisco Zuniga, Elections Officer

“For example here is the signature on the petition and this si the signature on our record cards. So it does not coincide; it is not consistent. Again this is the signature on the petition form and this is the signature on the record card. This is the signature on the record card and this is the signature on the petition form. Signature on the petition and signature on the record card.”

Josephine Tamai

Josephine Tamai

“For me, I’m no handwriting expert and our officers at the department similarly are no handwriting experts, but what we did we looked very closely at each and every one of them and as long as we could satisfy ourselves and say yes the person—sometimes we even go and look at the age of the person because like you said with age the signature varies. Sometimes after a few years the hands start to tremble a little bit. So we look at those things and we used our best judgment for every single one. Some of them we had to give the benefit of the doubt. We did not stick hard and fast to the rule which actually says that all petitions must be submitted with the person’s full name and that includes if the person has a middle name, they should include it. We didn’t even go as far as to say this one didn’t have a middle name and yet we have a middle name on the record card because again the information regarding the registration number was provided to us. We utilized that in order for us to find the information and once we found it, we gave it and we accepted it.”

According to the Chief Elections Officer, the Coalition’s petition was the first test of the Referendum Act.

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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3 Responses for “Untrained public officers examined signatures”

  1. Fancy says:

    I don’t think u have 2 be an expert to see that a signature on the voters’ list is different from the one on the petition. I’d my signature on the list has the cursive letters ACG and the one on the petition is AG then they don’t match do they? It does not matter that I have changed my signature from ACG to simply AG. I shud remember that my signature on record is ACG. Do you think a bank sue dismiss the difference as unnecessary? Me Noh think so baas.

  2. siru says:

    The CEO asked for a break because its the first time it is being done and recognizes there are no hand writing experts. Why does HE need a break? Why not give the people who signed the petitiosn a break? Damn bunch of arrogant, selfish people that are leading this nation.

  3. alexander says:

    PM borrow once again doing as he wishes, he never listens to the people eventhough that’s wat he claims to do… hipocrate and selfish mada !*****

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