Beautiful Virgin Islands

Thursday, Sep 21, 2023

Too soon to determine increase or decrease in registered voters

Too soon to determine increase or decrease in registered voters

It would be too early to determine if there is an increase in the number of voters registered in the territory, according to the Supervisors of Elections Scherrie Griffin.

In an interview with ZBVI Radio this week, Griffin said she could not say if there is an increase in voters for two major reasons.

“One, the official list, which is subject to inspection whereby persons can challenge the names listed therein as being relevant within the appropriate electoral district. So it will be best that we review the preliminary list against a previous preliminary list or better yet, we compare the official list of voters for 2021 with the official list of voters for 2022, and then be able to tell you by district [or] by polling division what would have been the increase if there was any,” Griffin said.

She added that the publication of the preliminary voters’ list is not an indication that a general election is near. This updated list is mandated every year to reflect anyone that is newly registered or transferred from the last publication.

“The posting of the preliminary list allows the public to inspect a list to ensure their name appears under the correct electoral districts or if there are any errors in the spellings of their names that can be corrected ahead of the revised official list being published,” the Supervisors of Elections said.

Registered voters who die while overseas

Meanwhile, Griffin said her office faces a challenge with removing people from the list who have died abroad. She noted that while they have access to the local database to remove registered voter who passed in the territory, they do not have such a system for those who passed overseas.

“So the publication of the preliminary list offers an opportunity where anyone in the public who may see a name of a person who they know — be it a family member or relative — who knows that, that individual has died abroad, they can notify the office appropriately, provide the requisite documentation which in the case could be a death certificate, or even an obituary to support that that person has died for their name to then be removed. So oftentimes, you may see deceased names remaining on the list. And that is not necessarily an intentional error by the office but more so we cannot remove a name — someone from the voters list — unless we have the supporting documents to allow that,” Griffin explained.

The current preliminary list was published on September 9 and has been made available for inspection since September 10. Griffin said there is a period of 10 days of inspection, so persons have until the 19th to file any claim. She noted after September 19, the list will be taken down and the appropriate correction made based on claims that are filed.

“The official list will be published thereafter on [September] 28th and that would be the official list 2022. What would happen again is if an election is called subsequently, we would have to open the list again and publish a subsequent preliminary list, but this would be the official list for the calendar year 2022, providing election is not called subsequently,” Griffin added.


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