BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, May 23, 2019 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Acting Prime Minister, the Honourable Shawn Richards, has assured nationals of St. Kitts and Nevis that the Supervisor of Elections and the staff at the Electoral Office continue to carry out their functions effectively and responsibly to ensure that citizens qualified to vote are duly registered.
“Mr. Elvin Bailey, the Supervisor, has reported that between January and March, some 514 persons were registered, a 270% increase over the 191 persons registered at the same time last year. For April, another 142 persons were enrolled. That is 656 persons for the year or 383 more persons than during the same period last year. There have also been some 174 transfers recorded since January,” acting Prime Minister Richards said in a nationally televised addressed today, Thursday, May 23.
The national statement by the acting Prime Minister came a day ahead of a reportedly planned protest organized by “disaffected members” of the Opposition St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party outside the Electoral Office on Central Street, Basseterre.
The minister warned that this politically motivated action would only serve to disrupt the daily operations of the Electoral Office and “undermine the confidence that our people have regained in the democratic process since the shenanigans carried on by the Labour Party during the last General Elections.”
The Honourable Shawn Richards also allayed any fears or anxiety created by Opposition elements surrounding the distribution of National ID cards, noting that the printing of the cards was suspended due to technical difficulties.
“This has been explained to those who have attended the Office to register, by staff there and the Supervisor of Elections himself has issued a number of press releases to the media, such as the Democrat, the Labour Spokesman and the Nevis Observer, as well as, he has made regular appearances on radio shows to inform the public of the work of the Electoral Office,” acting Prime Minister Richards said.
The minister also informed the nation that new printing machines are required to print the National ID cards. These new print machines will require a new computer software for them to be properly configured. This is currently being done by the international computer firm, Fujitsu, which is the same firm that installed the existing computer equipment some twelve years ago in 2007 under the former administration.
Notwithstanding, acting Prime Minister Richards reminded citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis that they would still be eligible to vote in an election once registered and can present a proper Government issued ID.
“Citizens should know and understand that the law is that you can only vote if you are on the Register of Voters. Once you are on the Voters Register at any election, you need to have a Government issued ID, like a Passport, or Social Security Card, or a Driver’s License, or the National ID Card, to prove your identity and vote. Once that is done, you cannot be denied your right to vote,” Minister Richards said.