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Disputed names removed from East Kingstown voters’ list

Disputed names removed from East Kingstown voters’ list


President of the New Democratic Party (NDP) Arnhim Eustace said yesterday that five of the six names he submitted to Supervisor of Elections Sylvia Findlay alleging that they were registered illegally in East Kingstown have in fact been removed from that constituency’s voters’ list.

In a telephone interview, Eustace said that he used his own resources and investigated six persons that he suspected were registered illegally in his constituency.{{more}} He then submitted the results of the investigation to Findlay.

“These people had already transferred and I wrote a letter about the six, I found where they were living and I gave her the information, now the new list shows that five of six have been removed from the East Kingstown list, it was not legal what they did,” stated Eustace.

He said that although five of the six persons have been removed from voting in East Kingstown, he is still questioning the one that was allowed to stay. The ones removed, according to Eustace, were living in places such as Central Kingstown and West St George, among others.

“I found where they were living. I gave her a letter and I sent it to the press also. The list has come out and five have been moved,” stressed Eustace.

The new voters’ list was released on Tuesday.

The Opposition Leader added that in his opinion, a significant number of persons are registered to vote in areas where they do not live. He said that numbers in his constituency, up to a certain date, show that 283 persons have transferred to East Kingstown while between 600 and 700 new persons have registered in his constituency.

Eustace said also that the South Leeward constituency has shown some 800 new registrations.

“A lot of corruption goes on with this list. Some of the transfers and registrations are normal, but some are not, but I don’t have the resources to find everyone. You have to have resources and in some cases hire security firms to help find these people and to show they really not living there,” said Eustace.

He said that he is in no way saying that all these new registrations and transfers are illegal, but some are worth investigating.

Yesterday, the Supervisor of Elections told SEARCHLIGHT that the people whose names were submitted by Eustace were investigated and it is not that they tried to beat the system.

“It’s the basic issue that we always have with the demarcation of the boundaries and there was another case where clearly the individual did not understand the law and felt that because previously he lived in that constituency and he had moved to another one, that he could move back there because he was doing a business in that area,” said Findlay.

She explained further, “He didn’t live there, but he had a business there and he thought that because he had previously lived there and our records show that, that he thought he could have moved backed there.”

She added that the man, once he understood what the law said, willingly complied.

The Supervisor added that the persons who were reported by Eustace came when their names were published in the newspaper and “none of the persons made an issue, quarreled or anything.”

She says that these persons did not understand the law and it is not as if they willfully tried to beat the system.

Findlay noted that in one instance, she spoke to the registering officer in Central Kingstown and the officer said that he sees one of the individuals in that area every day and at all hours of the night, but it was not that he lived there, but it was that he had a business there and would leave that business at late hours.

“We picked up on those, he (Eustace) said five, so is five and they no longer appear on East Kingstown’s list. They have been put in the constituencies where they ought to have been registered,” confirmed Findlay.

She said that about two years ago NDP’s Central Kingstown representative St Clair Leacock gave her a list with over 30 names and most of the people on that list were living overseas for over five years and that was dealt with and there is a report on that.

She, however, said that no report was given to Eustace because he has threatened legal action. “…Maybe it is not the courteous thing to do, but I am not responding, I am doing my work, but he is correct and we have reverted these persons to their correct constituencies”.