Complete re-registration of voters will commence in October, ABEC confirms; UPP pleased with decision

Instead of starting a re-registration exercise this month, March,
when the voter identification cards expire, the Antigua and Barbuda
Electoral Commission (ABEC) will conduct the exercise during the
last quarter of this year, 2024.

The news has been greeted by the United Progressive Party (UPP)
leadership with satisfaction, since this was the outcome for which its
team had lobbied, even as the Cabinet was contemplating a
“renewal” exercise.

In a press release issued by ABEC on Monday, March 18, the agency
noted that a national re-registration is to commence in October.

This decision follows the UPP team’s first meeting with the new
ABEC chairman Arthur Thomas, Esquire, and his subsequent
discussion with the Cabinet.

“ABEC is of the considered opinion that the process of re-
registration is the best method of maintaining the integrity of the
voters list,” the release says.
However, one Party official says the word “maintaining” is not quite
accurate, in the Party’s opinion, as the UPP considers the list to have
been compromised by Prime Minister Browne, himself.

“The word ‘restore’ would be better applied here,” the official says.
Meanwhile, ABEC says that all eligible persons will be required to
re-register when the process officially begins.

However, registration is not mandatory; it is an option that persons
can take since the voter identification card may be used as an official
government ID.

According to the Commission, “Persons whose cards will expire
prior to the re-registration exercise are kindly asked to keep them
secure and to use alternative forms of national identification for
business purposes.”