As officials made final preparations for the general election yesterday, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Parliamentary Registration Department Sherlyn Hall said the process should go 'smoothly'. Today will be the biggest test of the department since it received scathing criticisms from Election Court justices, who pointed to egregious failures in the process in the lead-up to the 2007 general election, and failures connected to the 2010 by-election in Elizabeth.
Hall assured that the department has been on high alert throughout the registration process.
"One of our biggest challenges is to get access to the schools," Hall told The Nassau Guardian yesterday. "That's going slowly but personnel from the Ministry of Works are assisting us in their capacity.
"We are trying to locate everyone to make sure the security is in place, and the schools open on time [Monday] but we will be ready." Polls will open at 8 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. As previously reported, 172,130 people are registered to vote in this election. Several thousand people voted in the advanced poll last week, including uniformed officers, election workers, overseas voters and special voters.
It was unclear just how many voter's cards had been collected up to yesterday. Hall reminded that this would not prevent any registered voter from voting, as long as they could properly identify themselves. Parliamentary Commissioner Errol Bethel has pointed out that having a birth certificate alone does not prove citizenship, as a voter's parents also have to be identified as citizens. However, he indicated that a valid passport would be an accepted document.
Hall is encouraging voters to conduct themselves with respect and dignity. Political party leaders have made similar appeals.
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