20 get court okay to vote
A last-minute decision by Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson saw 20 voters, who were either not on or removed from the voters’ list, being given the green light to cast their votes in yesterday’s general election.
While thousands of the 255 833 registered voters went to the polls from as early as 5:30 a.m., there were some who turned up and were sent away after being told their names were either removed or they were not registered to begin with.
Barbados-based former British rally champion Harold “Doc” Morley, who has been living here for the past 18 years, told the Weekend Nation he arrived at St Lawrence Primary in Christ Church, only to be told he was not on the list.
He said he immediately began making phone calls and was told by one of Chief Electoral Officer Angela Taylor’s officers that his name should have been on the list. However, another check revealed it was not, and he immediately went to the Supreme Court.
For the second time in a week, another emergency hearing was convened, before Sir Marston, to determine the way forward for those who qualified to be registered under Sections 7 and 11 of the Representation Of The People’s Act.
Last Friday, after a seven-hour emergency sitting in Court No. 6, Sir Marston ruled in favour of 17 people being able to vote, after he summoned Deputy Chief Immigration Officer Elaine McDonald before the court to verify the information.
Morley, along with others, arrived at Supreme Court No. 2 to give evidence so officials could determine their eligibility to vote.
Among the 20 was long-standing member of the business community and owner of RED Advertising, Jevan Jutagir, who also discovered he was not registered when he turned up at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Rendezvous, Christ Church.
At the end of the four-and-a-half-hour sitting, which began two hours later than scheduled, Queen’s Counsel Elliott Mottley, who represented the claimants, said Sir Marston had given the order for an addendum to be made to the voters’ list.
“The Chief Electoral Officer accepted that the persons who testified were entitled to be registered, and the Chief Justice ordered the Electoral and Boundaries Commission to extend the order for registration of these persons.
The Chief Electoral Officer was also ordered to issue an addendum to allow them to vote this (yesterday) evening,” he said.
Meanwhile, Larry Smith QC, representing the EBC, said the issue always had been one of being able to verify the details.
“There were some administrative glitches, apparently, it seems [by] the Electoral Office, but we’re living in a human world; it’s not perfect.”