By Loshaun Dixon
Basseterre, St. Kitts-A house to house voter’s list enumeration process is set to take place in St. Kitts and Nevis in 2017 in the government’s efforts to ensure voters of the Federation are appropriately registered where they live.
The announcement came from the Attorney General of St. Kitts and Nevis the Hon. Vincent Byron while giving remarks at a government held town hall in Cayon Tuesday evening.
Mr. Byron said the electoral process is a staple of a democratic country, and the system used to elect representatives must be fair.
“You must have proper rules, proper laws and we must conduct ourselves properly. For years and years in this country we have seen our electoral process broken down and mashed up,” he said.
Byron said one key factor that has been occurring is people are being allowed to register to vote where they don’t live.
“It has been going on for years. I often give the example that between 1984 and 1989 there was an average of new registrations of about 200-250 that five year period before the election in each constituency.
Between 1989 and 1993 again another 200 people per constituency,” he said.
The Attorney General further explained that in a year and a half on from 1993 there was an increase in the voters register of 556 voters and an increase of 665 voters while West Basseterre had only 11.
“If you looked at those registers you would find that many people who lived in West Basseterre went and registered in Central and East Basseterre. Many people who lived in certain rural areas that were considered to be labour stronghold started registering in Old Road,” he declared.
He added that the voters register had been slowly “mashed up” and vowed to have it fixed this year.
“People must register to vote where they live. That process begins today (Jan 31) we say that is not enough and one of the first action that this government will take to continue and ensure they have the proper registration we will go from door to door…and we will register you where you live before the end of this year,” he stated.
He said they will visit every house in St. Kitts and Nevis and will take your name where you live. The Attorney General also had concerns over the number of individuals who are registered to vote
“Today when those voters lists were published, there were 43,185 people on the voters register. Our population is only 47,195. You do the math,” he said.
Byron said every Jan 31 there is a published register of voters for the country that indicates whether one is on the voters list or not.
He added that following the publishing 10 days are required for individuals to make objections to the list. If a person’s name had been objected to and was removed from that particular constituency, the individual would be given the opportunity to properly register in the appropriate district.