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People's Report: Update voters' list, simplify ballot

Published:Saturday | April 30, 2016 | 12:09 AMVeronica Carnegie

VERONICA CARNEGIE

veronica_carnegie@cwjamaica.com

I and four other very senior citizens plead for the immediate fixing of the voters' list. On the February 25 list, we saw the names of dead relatives and friends and those of long-migrated family members who had become citizens of other countries.

Recently two of us went to collect our new voter ID cards and the courteous assistant handed us two more cards - same last names and same address. I gave back mine and told her my husband had died in 2007, but my friend kept hers as a souvenir and said nothing about her husband's passing from 2002.

We cannot wait for an accurate voters' list. We must find the money to employ the scores of university graduates who can't find work and the dozens of secondary-school leavers who have to work.

Train them properly and put them in khaki uniform, with the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) emblem on the pocket and same-colour caps. Don't let them loose in the motley array of the last set of enumerators who complained that some residents chased them away.

Then again, the EOJ must look at the old enumeration questionnaire. What kind of questions are you asking? Are they relevant to enumeration?

Then the 'vote paper' is too complicated and colourful and full of lines and curves and designs. It looks like the masterpiece of a once-great artist. We should have a SIMPLE vote form in mostly black and white with four columns: Name of Candidate, Initial of Party (PIP), Symbol of Party (the only colour on the vote paper), and in the last column, a little box in which the simple mark, or tick, can be made.

We ask for a simple, uncrowded vote form when we go to the polls next time. I wish they would call us, retired teachers, to design an uncomplicated, results-bearing, facts-yielding enumeration questionnaire and a voting form that requires no explanation or interpretation.