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Posted: Thursday 8 March, 2018 at 11:01 AM

AG Byron: 20% of voters reside overseas

By: Jermine Abel,
    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Mar. 08.2018-  ATTORNEY General, Hon. Vincent Byron has revealed that 20 percent of the voting population from the 2015 General Elections were overseas-based voters.

    That announcement comes as the government seeks to implement electoral reform.

    The Government since taking office in 2015 has been pedaling the notion of electoral reform, after they claimed that they found a number of irregularities during the 2015 General Elections.

    While addressing a town hall meeting last evening in Sandy Point, AG Byron explained that there were approximately 9000 people eligible to vote on the 2015 voters list that did not reside in St. Kitts and Nevis.

    According to Byron, there were 34000 persons living in St. Kitts and Nevis, who were 18 and over and were able to vote.

    “The last register that we produced, there were approximately 43,000 people. That is the number of voters in St. Kitts and Nevis. There are some 9000 people who do not reside here in St. Kitts and Nevis but are registered to vote; who have arrived to come and vote, explained Byron.

    He revealed that it equates to about 20 percent of the voting population that do not live in the federation. That process, the AG pointed out, needs to be reviewed.

    “We have to go back to the drawing board and determine if someone can fly in on a Sunday night, vote on a Monday and fly out on the Monday night. Some 9000, 20 percent…. we need to have a national dialogue on that issue,” stated Byron.

    Against that backdrop, he noted that they will soon be coming to the public through consultation on the best fit for the electoral process.

    He reminded that the annual registered list is published on January 31, every year.

    With new changes coming on stream, the AG revealed that they are considering publishing the names of voters online, giving everyone a quick and easier process of seeing the published list online.

    “Technology allows us now, to be able to ensure that all of you can be in the comfort of your home, in addition to placing them on your doors as we have done over the last 50 odd years. “We will now be using technology to enhance and ensure that there is much transparency; we will shine the light on the whole process of elections.”

    Further, he disclosed that when all lists are published they will be done with a photo of eligible voters.

    “These will be done online for all to see. We will clean up the entire process so that everyone will see what is going on. We will be coming to you shortly.”
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