The publication of the Annual Register of Voters renders every registrant to be a temporary claimant who is correctly registered. As such, no one is confirmed until the exercise is completed by the publication of the revised Annual Register.
Part IV of the Fifth Schedule of the Election Registration Regulations,Sections 20 – 35 becomes relevant to guide officer behaviour. The relevant portions of sections 20, 24(1),29 [subsection (1) (2)(3) (4)] and 35 [subsections (1) (2 )(3)] are presented for ease of reference.
The Registration Officer shall, immediately after receiving any notice of objection, send by registered post or in writing of which there is evidence that it has been received by the addressee, a notice in the form set out as Form No. 12 in the Schedule to the person in respect of whose registration the notice of objection is given and a notice in the form set out as Form No. 13 in the Schedule to these Regulations to the person making the objection.
The Registration Officer shall consider all claims and objections of which notice has been given to him or her in accordance with these Regulations and for that purpose shall give at least five days’ notice in writing, of which there is evidence that it has been received by the addressee, or notice by registered post, to the claimants or objectors and the persons in respect of whose registration or claims notice of objection has been given of the time and place at which the claims or objections will be considered by him or her.
Where the Chief Registration Officer has reasonable cause to believe that there appears in the list of voters the name of any person who is not qualified for inclusion in such list or that any insertion in respect of a person who is not entitled to be included in such list has been made, he or she shall hold a special revision to investigate such case.
The Chief Registration Officer shall give at least five days’ notice in writing to such person of the time and place at which such revision will take place and at such time and place consider the eligibility of such person to be included in the list of voters.
If the Chief Registration Officer decides that the name of such person should not be included in the list of voters, he or she shall delete the name therefrom and initial the deletion.
The Chief Registration Officer shall publish a list of the names of persons deleted as aforesaid at the time of the publication of the next Monthly List for the polling division.
Any person who has made a claim in the prescribed form for inclusion in or correction to the Register of Voters, Monthly List or Revised Monthly List or whose claim has been objected to and any person who objects to the inclusion of any name or claim of any person shall appear in person before the Registration Officer to show cause why the claimant’s name or the name of the person whose inclusion has been objected to should be included therein or deleted therefrom.
The Registration Officer shall disallow the claim of any person to be included in the Register of Voters or Monthly List or Revised Monthly List or the inclusion of any person in the list whose inclusion has been objected to, if the person so claiming or objected to has not personally appeared before the Registration Officer for the consideration of the claim or objection.
Where the Registration Officer is satisfied from the evidence available to him or her that any person is entitled to remain registered, even if the person objected to or making the claim does not appear at the hearing, the Registration Officer may determine the matter accordingly.
We do all this to achieve one vote for each voter in the right place and fairness to all. Please be guided.