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Registered non-voters should be fined - Warmington

Published:Friday | April 11, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Daraine Luton, Gleaner Writer

CONTROVERSIAL legislator Everald Warmington wants registered voters who fail to exercise their franchise to be required to pay approximately $705 each.

The South West St Catherine Member of Parliament, who recently declared that he would not be providing any benefit to people who do not vote, said they should repay back the treasury.

There are 1.7 million people on the voters' list. Only 52 per cent of the electorate voted in the last general election, which cost $1.2 billion.

The Electoral Office of Jamaica has indicated it would cost a similar amount to undertake local government elections due next March.

payback to consolidated fund

"If you have 48 per cent stay-home-and-don't-vote, you need to establish a system where that 48 per cent pay back to the Consolidated Fund the amount that it costs," Warmington said.

He was speaking during Wednesday's sitting of the Standing Finance Committee of the House of Representatives, which is considering the 2014-2015 Estimates of Expenditure.

"We need to find some way because there are countries, even in Ecuador, if you don't vote, you lose all your rights. You can't have a government spending $1.2 billion and people stay home and don't vote, and criticise Government that you don't get this and you don't get that.