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Voter verification system weak, says Auditor General

Published: Tuesday December 4, 2012 | 5:47 pm Comments 0

Jerome Reynolds, Gleaner Writer

The Auditor General has found that the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) does not have an effective system in place to routinely verify the age or date of birth of persons seeking to become registered voters.

In a report tabled in parliament today, the Auditor General noted that applicants were not routinely required to provide proof of age at the time of registration.

The Auditor General stated that the absence of an effective age verification system increases the risk of registering under-aged applicant as legitimate voters.

The Auditor General found that 48 persons who were on the adjusted November 2011 Voterís List had no information indicating their date of birth at the time the list was generated.

Meanwhile, the auditor general has found that the ECJ does not have a mechanism in place to target high risk groups such as electors for re-verification in order to determine their authenticity.

It was highlighted that in the November 2011 Voterís list 133,845 electors were flagged as having bad prints, bad photo or missing information.

A further 3,137 electors were flagged for having wrong fingerprints and 2,922 flagged for no fingerprints.

Meanwhile, the Auditor General Department said it found no evidence that the ECJ had the authority to review certain election documents such as the Poll Book that is used to record the names of voters.

This is because the law was not amended to give the Commission the power to carry out this function.

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