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Hall Warns On Voter's Cards

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Parliamentary Commissioner Sherlyn Hall.

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Deputy Chief Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

SEVERAL people have attempted to gain two voter’s cards by registering twice at different locations, Parliamentary Commissioner Sherlyn Hall said yesterday, adding that police officers have been called about at least one case.

Mr Hall told the media that the irregularities were picked up by the Parliamentary Registration Department’s computer database. He said a few people in New Providence, Grand Bahama and even some Family Islands have “misled” revising officers.

“What we have discovered is that people were attempting to register twice,” Mr Hall told ZNS News. “They would go to one station and register one day and go to another station and mislead the revising officer and attempt to register again. So a few persons, several persons have attempted to register twice, (and) to us that is dishonest.

“Every voter is entitled to one voter’s card only, so when we find that, we delete those cards. No citizen ought to register more than once.”

Meanwhile, National Security Minister Dr Bernard Nottage yesterday said he was “very surprised” at the recurring accusations levelled at the Parliamentary Registration Department, adding that attempts to discredit those tasked with handling the electoral process was “shameful”.

During a Free National Movement (FNM) rally in Cat Island last week, FNM Leader Dr Hubert Minnis claimed that the Parliamentary Registration Department’s computer system crashed and erased the names of registered voters. Dr Minnis did not offer evidence of this, but claimed that the government was trying to “steal” the 2017 general election.

Dr Minnis told the crowd of FNMs that his party intended to request international observers to prevent any malfeasance.

When he was asked about the matter, Dr Nottage downplayed the claims and sought to defend the department, telling reporters he was not aware of the situation. He added that Dr Minnis had not mentioned the situation to him, saying: “He doesn’t come here (Parliament) so our paths don’t cross.”

Dr Nottage, who is responsible for elections, insisted that the repeated suggestion that the electoral process is flawed questioned the integrity of the system.

In response to Dr Minnis’ claims, Mr Hall also insisted that there was no computer crash and no names were lost. He said as the protocol is for voter registration to continue until one day before Parliament is dissolved, employees were expected to continue their work until this happens.

Meanwhile, FNM Chairman Sidney Collie said in order to maintain transparent, democratic elections, it is essential that the government readily accept international election observers.

Integrity

“I think it does question the integrity of the system and of the personnel and I’ve noticed over the past several weeks or even months there has been a considerable attempt to discredit the Parliamentary Registration Department and the whole process,” Dr Nottage said following a sitting of the House of Assembly yesterday. “I think that it’s shameful that it’s happening and I think that we are an open society and we have a record for hosting democratic elections.

“The sides involved in an election have always been able to speak with each other. When I was in opposition and the same persons that are running the Parliamentary Registration Department, I could go there and get information. So it’s easy to if you hear something that sounds like it may be prejudicial to the process, it’s easy to go and see the Parliamentary Commissioner.

“He would see anyone, in particular anyone who is the leader of a major party, and so I can’t understand why he would want to cast an aspersion on that. Even if it were true I would think first you would try to verify it with the people involved.”

At one point during his interview with the media, Dr Nottage seemed to be on the defensive when he was pressed on when he received his latest update from the Parliamentary Commissioner.

“You want me to tell you when was the last time (I was in communication with the staff)? If there is a question you’d like to ask me just ask the question. I don’t think when was the last time I spoke to him is an appropriate question. I have spoken to them (today).”

Asked to assure voters of this election process considering the chaotic nature of the 2016 constitutional referendum, Dr Nottage said Parliamentary Registration staff members always seek to do their best.

“I think there are hiccups with every election and I think as you know in most general elections we’ve had there have been election court cases brought by persons who believed that something amiss may have occurred and so this election period is no different from any other.

“I think that our staff seek to do their best and those of us who are responsible for assisting are in constant contact with the persons who are responsible for activities. If there is something that is amiss we would deal with it. So I am very surprised that these accusations keep occurring,” Dr Nottage said.

For his part, in a press statement yesterday Mr Collie encouraged candidates and constituents of all political parties to willingly comply with every election law.

“We must never ignore the lessons history has taught us, and although I’m confident that our country will uphold the rule of law, the government should act prudently to ensure this is a certainty. To these ends, Bahamians deserve nothing less than complete co-operation from their government,” Mr Collie said.

“International election observers share an important role in this process by verifying the compliance of election laws with impartiality and efficiently correcting any potential for misconduct. Such participation fosters an environment of trust between government and its people as well as the international community.

“As leaders of the country we hold dear, the FNM will never shy away from accountability and transparency. Our hope is that Bahamians can take pride in every aspect of our country, and this begins with an unwavering commitment to the democratic process,” Mr Collie added.

Comments

Sickened 3 years, 9 months ago

Can we PLEASE get rid of the blue ink finger dunk? My god, we should be more sophisticated than friggin' Africa and other 3rd world countries. It is so degrading... it's like "we don't trus' you nigga!"

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Cobalt 3 years, 9 months ago

The Bahamas is a third word country!

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realfreethinker 3 years, 9 months ago

The stealing of the election has begun.

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Publius 3 years, 9 months ago

Meanwhile, FNM Chairman Sidney Collie said in order to maintain transparent, democratic elections, it is essential that the government readily accept international election observers.

International observers? How about the FNM do its job as the Opposition party of The Bahamas? The Opposition parties have specific roles and responsibilities in this process. What is a foreigner coming in and sitting to see the final product going to do to help the process itself if already flawed? This laziness about one's democracy is precisely why we are where we are.

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TalRussell 3 years, 9 months ago

Comrades! The Trump divisive, it's all rigged, campaign's fear fingerprints are stamped all over the Red Shirts 2017 General Election strategy - right out the playbook used by Sir Stafford, back during the hard-fought 1967 General Election.
Soon, very soon, there will come news about Loretta's, scrapping her plans to contest the Long Island seat, come runging 2017 General Election bell?

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Cornel 3 years, 9 months ago

The people getting more than one voter reg card are most likely Russians (this is the Bahamas so maybe they are Chinese) who will try and sway the vote. Look out ! ! !

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John 3 years, 9 months ago

They say Facebook has face recognition that can identify you even before you sign in. Not only that but Facebook's software can identify anyone you have take a photo with and recommend them to add to your friends list, among other things. Almost any smart phone can identify your location. Along with other biometric technologies, including finger print recognition,and software which can not only tell if a person has already voted, but all the specifics as to when where they voted. So it is not the absence of technology that voter fraud happens. Maybe some don't want to close out all the possibilities of it happening and dipping your thumb in the sinister looking blue ink is a comfort only to a fool. Some say "if voting really mattered, they would not allow us to do it." So do it anyway.

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ohdrap4 3 years, 9 months ago

last time they did not even have a fax machine , remember?

what technology? the voter's cards are handwritten!!

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 9 months ago

Sherlin Hall is prepping us for the eventual chaos that will follow once the polls close at 6 pm. Do anyone remember how strange the Gender Equality Referendum results were presented??????? ............. and how the PLP executives were more informed about the results than PC Hall???????? ......... What do you think will happen when the advance poll results show that the PLP is losing the election by 7 or 8 pm????????? .......... What will Hall do???????

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realfreethinker 3 years, 9 months ago

IF they attempt to steal this election,there will be riots in the streets. Bahamians will nor accept that.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 9 months ago

And the overwhelming final ranking of who to vote for from an independent polling of more than 20,000 registered voters throughout the Bahamas is as follows:

Number 1: Any independent candidate of generally well known good character.

Number 2: The DNA candidate, but only if he or she is of generally well known good character.

Number 3: The PLP candidate, but only if there is no number 1 or 2 above and you must reluctantly accept that the devil you know is better than the devil you know nothing about.

Number 4: The FNM candidate, but only if there is no number 1, 2 or 3 above and you feel compelled to exercise your most important constitutional right, i.e. the right to vote.

Number 5: Spoil your ballot or not vote at all if you believe all is lost and exercising your constitutional right will accomplish absolutely nothing!

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John 3 years, 9 months ago

Sounds like bull$hit all over...made up 1. Name one Independent candidate expected to win his/her seat with maybe the exception of Loretta Butler-Turner. 2. Name one DNA candidate expected to win his/her seat. 3. Name one DNA candidate expected at least 1/3 of the votes. 4. Most polls indicate the PLP and FNM are running heads to heads as far as expected seats are concerned, with no other perty expected to win any seat.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 9 months ago

It's my understanding the 20,000+ randomly selected registered voters were asked to rank how they would likely vote if the only options available to them are the five outlined above. THESE ARE NOT MY OPTIONS NOR MY RANKINGS - the options were established by the client of the polling company that conducted the poll and the results (rankings) by the registered voters randomly selected to participate in the polling survey.

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Publius 3 years, 9 months ago

All published polls have the PLP, FNM and DNA statistically tied in terms of stated support.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 9 months ago

Where can I buy whatever good stuff you are smoking?

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banker 3 years, 9 months ago

You are full of shiite.

I checked with the company that you said did the polling. They thought that I was crazy. No record of any Bahamian polls.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 9 months ago

Don't let your feelings of helplessness and despair about the lack of political alternatives in our country today turn to fear and paranoia, and eventually paralysis. There are important things many of us can still do to protect ourselves and our families as much as possible from what lies ahead. Around the world there are many people suffering a miserable existence in failed states because they ignored the writing on the wall. Keep in mind too that we already have an unusually high concentration of failed states in our region, namely Haiti, Venezuela, Cuba and a couple of less well known ones in Central America.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 9 months ago

And the volume of your sense of desperation has become too deafening.

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banker 3 years, 9 months ago

I have no desperation -- just sadness. However, I don't lie and make up shiite. After reading the news here, and the comments, I feel like I need a shower. Cry, my beloved country.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 9 months ago

I know the feeling, but it has not kept me from doing important things for the sake of my family.

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TalRussell 3 years, 9 months ago

The Comrade should have known there is more than enough politically bias actors actors trying to manipulate the outcome with their oversampling intelligence - not to even attempt makeup even some juvenile sounding fake results.

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Emac 3 years, 9 months ago

I ain't gatta lie, but Well_mudda_take_sic do make up shit to stir emotions a lot of times though. But any sensible person should never trust polls that involve Bahamians because of the following reasons:

  1. Most Bahamians lie a lot and are not prepared to face reality

  2. Most Bahamians would change their minds in a flash for (a) emotional reasons (b) cold beer/half pint aristocrat (c) couple dollars to buy numbers

  3. Most Bahamians don't give a shit about their country

  4. You cannot really trust the pollsters any who

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 9 months ago

Thank you for your most astute and very truthful observations. Case closed!

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Publius 3 years, 9 months ago

For what it's worth, at least some of these issues were caught. These sorts of things happen every election cycle, it's just that the citizenry never hears about it.

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John 3 years, 9 months ago

It is estimated that it will cost the U.K. 62 billion to GET OUt the EU. And after all the losses from cancelled contracts and lost revenue, the U.K. Can be among the list of failed states. While local leaders of the country are generally blamed for a failed nation, many of the forces causing a nation to fail are external. Much is caused by those who control the interest rates and manipulate the money supply or even 'regulate' the trade of a country. For example in the Bahamas the high rate of borrowing has put a lot of pressure on government revenues. Even to the point that money is spent before it is taken in. The Bahamian economy has not only remained for nine years, but it has contracted in several years causing even more financial pressure. And whenever there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel, a travel advisory is issued or some financial downgrade causing even more problems. Is this coincidental? Right now Bahamians are virtually working to service their debt (financial slaves). And this is happening to many countries around the world. Venezuela , which was a large oil producer and refinery was to the point that it could no longer supply food and medicine to its people. Its currency became valueless overnight and even persons with money could not trade. In India the currency is being recalled and replaced but citizens are wary to exchange the currency because they don't trust the government. In Brazil the Olympics was a near flop because of travel advisories to that country due to the Zika virus. Now there is a health advisory on beef and other meat products that is threatening to cripple that country's meat industry and sink its economy overnight. China was able to starve off a recession in that country by rebuilding its infrastructure and exporting workers after a great decrease in demand for its products. A decline that saw the prices of flat screen the, smart phones and other consumer products cut by nearly half and even more. Even hall mark businesses in the USA are not being spared Why are the economies of the world falling like dominoes and who or 'what' is really behind it?

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John 3 years, 9 months ago

Even companies can be crushed overnight. For example Samsung took a big hit when the batteries on its Note 7 caused it loses of over $4 billion. The battery was made externally and the situation not only cost Samsung its greatest losses ever, but it led to rivals I/Phone having one of its best two quarters ever. Then the heir to Samsung was arrested and is still being held on bribery charges. And while Samsung will release its Note 8 on Wednesday selling at a price of $800, a number of smaller phone companies have entered the market selling phones with many of the I/Phone and Samsung features for under $200.

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John 3 years, 9 months ago

Is this a trend? India'a government has now moved to shut down hundreds of slaughter houses in that country. The government claims the slaughterhouse are killing cows that are sacred in India but the Muslims in a population of over 200 million claims the move is a religious one. Many restaurants and meat shops in India has had to close because there is no meat to sell. So what will happen to the price/supply of beef in the near future? Will meat eaters be forced to change their diets?

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ohdrap4 3 years, 9 months ago

bahamians do not worry. they are the biggest eaters of chicken in the world.

except john, who prefers corned beef.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 9 months ago

Two things are for sure at the conclusion of the next general election: (1) Bahamians will get who and what they fully deserve for their vote; and (2) President Trump's new extreme vetting policy for U.S. visa applicants will ensure only a few privileged Bahamians can visit the U.S.

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