The Guyana Election Commission has published the Official List of Electors (OLE) for the 2015 elections. The list accounts for a total of 570,787 eligible voters while Guyana’s population totals 747,884, according to the 2012 census.
This means that close to 75% of the country’s population is eligible to vote and already copies of the OLE, printed on specifically designed water marked paper, have been pinned at the respective polling places.
But even as this is being done, concerns continue to linger about the 83,000 new voters which the 2015 list records. To this end, Chief Elections Officer Kieth Lowenfield guaranteed that no changes will be made to the list going forward.
“We have passed all the statutory timelines for any change that should have been done…there will be no changes in the numerical amount listed and we will be going forward with that certified list of electors,” Lowenfiled added.
Some 60 percent of voters in the upcoming elections are said to be young people between the ages of 18 and 35 while the 2012 population and housing census shows a decrease in the country’s population by 3,339.
It is against this background that Presidential Candidate of the APNU+AFC Coalition David Granger, had raised questions about the size of the revised list of electors raised concerns over the possibility of a “dirty list”.
Speaking at a New York meeting with Guyanese last month, Granger questioned how it is that the voters list has seen a jump in its numbers by over 100,000 in three years.
Granger had told the New York meeting that the APNU+AFC will push for the cleaning up of the list ahead of the May 11 elections.
“Do not take things for granted. Do not be complacent. The list has suddenly gone up by 100,000 to 567,000. Keep your eyes open. We do not believe in that. How in three years in a country in which the population is falling, the voters list has gone up by 100,000? Granger asked.
When asked directly if he was satisfied with the number of new voters on the list, Lowenfield asserted that all the process to arriving at the OLE were followed and the Commission will be proceeding with the final list.
It is believed that many of the persons on the list are Guyanese who would have migrated over the past five years. (Kurt Campbell)