ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada,CMC – Grenada’s Prime Minister Tillman Thomas has expressed appreciation to the Organization of American States (OAS) for the mission’s “speedy response” to his request to provide technical support to validate and verify the integrity of the new voter registration system.
Thomas’ request was aimed at ensuring that the upcoming general elections in Grenada are held in a “clean, free, fair and transparent manner.”
On completing a two week mission, the OAS team submitted a Report which concluded that “the introduction of biometric identification cards and an electronic voter database constitute significant improvements in voter security, relative to the processes that were previously in place.”
According to the report, “the house-to-house survey on voter registration attested to the integrity of the voter registration database.”
It said in 98 percent of cases, there was “almost perfect correspondence between the place of residence provided by the citizen and the constituency in which that citizen was registered.”
The OAS team noted that “Grenada has significantly improved the legal framework governing the voter registration process,” adding that the 2011 Amendment to the Representation of the People Act “provides for the establishment of a permanent, centralised and computerised voter registration system, and establishes a more stringent identification requirement.”
“The assessment of the OAS Technical Team is that the voter registration system in Grenada is generally robust.Grenadian authorities deserve recognition for implementing a new system, which constitutes real progress for the organization of clean and inclusive elections in the country.” it added.
The team also made mention of areas in need of improvement in terms of the technical capacity of internal information technology personnel as well as procedures for inter-institutional cooperation to update and cleanse the voters’ list.
In response, the Prime Minister said his Government made the right decision in heeding the OAS calls in 1999, 2003 and 2008 for a new voter registration system.
“Grenadians can now be guaranteed a free and fair election, free from the voter padding and irregularities pertaining to the electoral list of previous elections.” Thomas said a Grenada government statement issued here on Wednesday.
The OAS as well as representatives from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will observe the February 19 general elections.