Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - A public awareness campaign for the upcoming
house to house enumeration exercise has been launched. The campaign, expected to
run for up to five months, is being implemented by the Electoral Commission,
with the slogan “Now I Can.” It will incorporate the use of electronic and print
media, signage like billboards and posters as well as town and village community
Chief Elections Officer Carson Raggie says amidst all the political noise, the
education campaign is critical in ensuring that accurate information is
disseminated, concerning the new verification exercise expected to begin on
November 1st, 2005. “Our message is that it is important to verify the existing
data in our electoral register in order to reflect the current registration due
to population shifts,” says Raggie.
He want on, “That this verification process also informs the revision of the
electoral register and that the national and electoral registers are not mere
documents buts lists where every living contributing St. Lucian are to be
accounted for, so that their rights can be incorporated in the process of social
planning.” The process will also lead to the issuance of a new, free of charge,
identification card, one embedded with additional security features to combat
The card holder according to Electoral Commission officials will be better able
to express basic rights and freedoms like the ability to vote and travel, and
access health care under the Universal Health Care programme, soon to come on
stream in Saint Lucia. Some 440 persons, comprising 17 registration officers, 3
coordinators, 140 enumerators and 280 scrutineers, based on the recent amendment
to the House of Assembly Elections Act, have undergone specialized training to
conduct a fair and impartial island wide exercise.
Electoral Commission member Stephen Julian says, “This activity is largely a
verification exercise and not a re-registration in the sense that all persons
will be re-registered. In fact, the majority of persons are already registered.
This activity is essentially to verify the residence of existing registrants and
correct their registrations accordingly, so as to ensure that persons are dully
registered in regard to their place of residence within an electoral district.”
The Commission has issued a special appeal urging members of the public to
capitalise on this service in order to become registered. An overall budget of
$3.2 million has been allocated toward the project.