Blythe Duncanson, editor and publisher of the TCI Weekly News, has told TCI News Now that he and many others in the TCI feel that the cutoff of voter registrations by June 29 cannot stand.
“With more than four months to the November 9th election and with an anticipated only 5,000 voters, to cut off the registration this early will draw the attention of the world,” Duncanson said.
The problem appears to be a massive overload in the Grand Turk department which issues the required birth certificates. Another problem is the need by many to obtain their birth certificate from their birthplace in The Bahamas, where they were born to TCI parents. These potential voters will also be required to obtain the birth certificates of their parents and possibly grandparents.
The difficulties in obtaining these documents and the initial costs involved have reportedly discouraged hundreds of people who have voted in the past.
The interim government has allowed potential voters to register without their documents, which they can furnish later. It is unclear what this document date cutoff is.
High school graduates, who may exceed 350 students this year, are just turning 18 and may not be able to vote due to the early deadline.
Duncanson and many others in the TCI are saying that the deadline must be extended to within 30 or 45 days of the election.
“As excitement over the election grows, people will find themselves left out and unable to cast their vote,” said Duncanson.
Candidates and politicians from both parties have been posting pleas to belongers to hurry to their local registration station.