over 17,000 registrants from H2H Registration found to be duplicates
The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM)
will be doing an internal investigation after data returned from
cross-matching overseas was unable to match some 60,000 names recorded
during the halted House-to-House Registration.
This was revealed at the conclusion of a statutory meeting on Tuesday.
Opposition-nominated GECOM Commissioner Sase Gunraj said that these
60,000 persons are not necessarily new registrants since initial
investigations found that a significant portion is already on the
National Register of Registrants (NRR).
“Based on the cross-matching information that we have received, the
number of forms that did not attract a hit from the cross-matching
number is about 60,000. On the face of it, one would want to assume that
those are new persons,” he said.
“However, the Chief Elections Officer has indicated to us that the
Secretariat went through a process where they looked at that
cross-matching report and they have found more than 17,000 who were
presumed to be new, to be already on the database”.
Asked whether GECOM Chair Retired Justice Claudette Singh has called for
a vote on the matter, Gunraj noted that in the first place, there is no
clarity about the data itself, so there could be no vote on how to use
However, he explained that GECOM has since contacted the service
provider for clarity on the information. Asked if this could delay the
already-delayed process for General and Regional Elections, he was
unable to say.
“We have taken a decision to contact the service provider of the
fingerprint cross-matching. But that is where we are. We don’t know if
it was a mistake of the company. We don’t know what the position is, so
we’re waiting on clarity on the way forward”.
“At this point, there has been no indication to us about the possibility
of a delay. But a resolution of this in a timely manner will help in
the smoothness of the process,” Gunraj further explained to the media.
Meanwhile, Government-nominated Commissioner Vincent Alexander noted
that GECOM’s investigation is likely to take a week.
It has been weeks that GECOM has been unable to reach a consensus on
what it will eventually do with this data. Last week’s statutory meeting
had ended with Gunraj also revealing that they were unable to reach a
consensus on the usage of the House-to-House data – a process which was
halted since August 31.
The inconclusive nature of the meeting was even though the Chairperson
had promised that a decision would be made. Opposition Leader Bharrat
Jagdeo, himself, had also met with the Chairperson on Tuesday last,
where issues regarding this data were discussed.
When H2H started this year, it was without the input of the Opposition.
In fact, the only party that scrutinised the enumerators during the
exercise was the ruling party, as the PPP was not invited to
In fact, the parliamentary opposition has long contended that merging
the data would corrupt the entire database, citing the manner in which
the data was collected. On the other hand, the Government-nominated
Commissioners have advocated for the inclusion of the data.
A decision was taken recently by GECOM to post the House-to-House data
at its registration office for persons to inspect and then use as a
reference to make changes to the Preliminary List of Electors (PLE). At
the time, the Opposition was opposed to this decision since the H2H data
was likely to be inaccurate.