I wish to comment on the last paragraph of Ram`s letter to the Editor entitled “GECOM already has access…” (SN: 15/03/2019). In that paragraph, Ram`s obsession with Burnham clouds his mind to the electoral realities of Guyana, past and present.
In reference to Burnham, who has not been around since 1985, Ram proclaims “that dead voting died with Burnham” and went on to say that “GECOM, its officials, polling agents and observers have been sufficiently diligent in ensuring that votes are validly cast by legal living voters.” He might be right “that dead people voting died with Burnham” but certainly seems not to know or acknowledge that today`s issue is not so much the dead as it is the living substitute voters and a list bloated by a combination made up of a minority of dead people and a majority of migrants (Guyanese in the diaspora) for whom locals seek to vote.
This phenomenon was brought to GECOM`s attention in 2006. The then CEO, Mr Boodoo acknowledged the complaint in relation to voting at the Chateau Margot polling station; promised to investigate the allegation; proceeded to declare the results of the elections and never undertook the promised investigation in the same manner in which he promised and reneged on rectifying the AFC`s proven allegation of the wrongful allocation of an AFC seat, in Linden, to the PPP/C, in the 2006 elections.
He seems also not to know or conveniently forgets that GECOM acknowledged that there was substitute voting at Eccles in the 2011 elections although all of the measures, he refers to as assurances that only valid votes could be cast, were in place.
Burnham is neither the alpha nor the omega of electoral malfeasance in Guyana. The never held court-ordered Houston by-election in 1961, Boodoo`s malfeasance in 2006 – 2011 ( false declaration of results in 2006; unlawful issuance of scores of certificates of employment to PPP/C polling agents in 2011; and the presentation of false results to the Commission in 2011) and the unlawful issuance of proxies and consequentially illegal voting in Mabaruma in the 2018 local government elections, represent the alpha, part intermediary and omega of electoral malfeasance in Guyana, to date.
It is this knowledge that informs my call for house-to-house registration, which registration all and sundry have agreed should be statutory (every seven years) and is overdue.
The Rams’ could jump high, jump low; Alexander will not be deterred in his advocacy for house-to-house registration as the mechanism for populating a new and sanitised voters’ list. GECOM`s mandate requires it to conduct timely and credible elections. Not one without the other.