DUMb Animals called PNC!!
How is absence of an ID card related to the right to vote?
GECOM with the chairman, Claudette Singh’s approval, has decided that once you do not want to collect your ID card, you will not be allowed to vote. What form this denial takes? Your name will be removed from the official list of electors (OLE).
Is this denial of a registered person’s right to vote backed by law? I don’t know and I will wait to see what the legal minds say. From my understanding of natural justice and the right to choose in any society, it appears that there seems to be a violation of the right to choose here.
Once there is no law that GECOM can cite to deny a person the right to vote who does not have an ID card, then it should be tested in court immediately. And it should not be left to the Opposition to litigate the decision. All political parties and NGOs like the Bar Association need to seek the court’s intervention.
One of the shocking things going on in this country is the length of time our courts take to decide on emergency matters. UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, prorogued parliament and in a week’s time the case was heard and decided. Judges agreed to hear it because of the nature of the case, that it should be heard urgently.
It made no sense to have the litigation aired months after it was filed because any decision against the Prime Minister would have been irrelevant then. Johnson wanted to prorogue in order to give the House little time to debate his Brexit plan before the UK was scheduled to leave the EU.
Opposition parties knowing this, then moved to the courts because they wanted the House to be in session to debate the Brexit plan weeks in advance of UK’s withdrawal. It would have made absolutely no sense if the courts had decided the matter months down the road.
If there is no law that allows GECOM to remove persons from the OLE because they did not uplift their ID card then an injunction should be filed ASAP and the court must act expeditiously because election is just four months away. What are the circumstances that made GECOM decide that?
If I have a passport that I feel has more weight than an ID card and I decide to use my passport for all kinds of identification purposes and chose not to collect my ID, why should my country on the basis on that bias of mine choose to deny me my right to vote? In many institutions in this country, more weight is put on a passport than an ID card. Many institutions feel the passport is a more prominent piece of paper.
I have read the APNU Commissioners of GECOM making the announcement but there is no elaboration as to why failure to collect the ID card is connected to your right to vote? I am waiting to hear that from both these commissioners and the Chairman where and how the two are interrelated.
We keep reading that since 2008, those items are lying on the shelves and we don’t know where these persons are? But why is that GECOM’s business? If you don’t want an ID card, what business is that of GECOM? This is where I am eager to hear an explanation about the relationship between an ID card and the right to vote.
If the reason is strong because of legal requirements then so be it. Unless you collect, you cannot vote because this is the law – end of story. The APNU commissioners have not cited the particular law. The GECOM chair doesn’t speak to the press causing the Guyana Press Association to issue a statement on her attitude. So we don’t have her thinking on the controversy.
So far only the Opposition GECOM commissioners have touched on the issue. From what they have said to the press, a court battle is looming. As for me, I am still wallowing in confusion and remain anxious to hear the explanation. I confess, it doesn’t seem right to me.
If you want to vote with your passport or you don’t need an ID card or passport to vote, then why must there be a sanction against you for not collecting your ID? And that sanction is your right to vote given to you by God or natural law. Something just doesn’t seem right here. I will shut up and not touch the issue again in these columns if I can see the connection between the refusal to uplift you ID and the necessity of removing your name from the OLE.
(The views expressed in this article ar