ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Chairman of the Antigua & Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC) Juno Samuel said early setbacks are being overcome and he expects to reach the target of 2,800 registered per day by the end of the week.
Samuel also estimates that 40,000 to 45,000 voters will be registered in the initial mass re-registration period taking place from October 1-25.
“At the end of Monday, we registered 1,394 persons and (Monday) was a bad day, they were not at their best. Various things happened and they were getting accustom to the system,” Samuel explained.
“We believe that by the end of this exercise we can register somewhere in the vicinity of 40,000 voters. By October 25 if we register, 40,000 to 45,000 that’s quite a large number because remember after that we are still going to have continuous registration.”
The commission is in the process of adding registration systems to many of the more popular constituencies and plans to unroll 23 systems in total or six more than the current one in each constituency.
Samuel said ABEC workers were given weeks of practice on the Canadian Bank Note (CBN) system, but said it was always inevitable that unforeseen issues and delays would arise once re-registration commenced.
“They practiced on each other going through the system, but then when you go in the field and actually confronted with the issues, it’s different,” the commission chairman said.
A troubleshooting list was developed and handed out to all centres yesterday to tackle the most common issues that arose on Monday yet technical problems were still seen in some centres yesterday.
Noting there have been no budgetary constraints, Samuel said the commission has had no difficulty in securing the EC $10 million, from the government, that the process has cost to date.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)