Since July 2, both the Peoples United Party and the United Democratic Party have been actively participating in the re-registration process. Yes, it is the responsibility of potential voters to take the time to locate the appropriate documents and register in the constituencies in which they currently live. Some people believe that politicians should not be involved in the process, but the UDP’s Chairman Alberto August strongly disagrees. As a matter of fact, he told Love News that the re-registration process is all about politics.
Alberto August Chairman UDP: On election day you bring out people to go direct to the polls and then they will either vote or not vote for you but in terms of the registration process now you bring out the person and basically there is no immediate benefit of that process but yes you must get your people on the list and we are seeking as much as possible to get back the hard core UDP voters on the list. We are doing well in terms of mobilizing. I hear some arguments of how some people talking out there about how the re-registration is not about politics. Man this thing is all about politics because you are seeking to rebuild the foundation of the democratic process of the country and if you don’t get on the list to vote then on election day you will be worthless to any of the political parties.
Jose Sanchez: How are you pushing them to come out?
Alberto August Chairman UDP: In the rural areas, yes in the rural areas we might have to assist in terms of transportation but of course in response to your question; it comes at a cost because you know we have scrutineers inside of the stations and most of these people are paid. You can’t work people and not pay them and in terms of the registration centers they’re working ten hours a day.
The UDP Chairman said that they are doing regular calculations on the number of voters that re-register. He believes he has a firm understanding of the political landscape and there are more areas in the country that UDP supporters are turning up to re-register. In his frank discussion, Chairman August also pointed out one constituency in which the Opposition has been better at corralling citizens to re-register.
Alberto August: In terms of the overall picture twenty six point five percent of the registered voters have already come out to vote; i’m sorry to register. When the list was cropped at the end of June there was 204,983 voters on the list. Registered up until the 21st of July was 54,451 so we are looking 26.5% of the amount of electors already re registered.
Jose Sanchez: Are you able to quantify and guesstimate to how many of that is UDP?
Alberto August: Yes of course and because we have scrutineers inside of the stations and they seek to give us a fair enough picture as to how the people are turning out and in some instances like 85% of the persons coming out. One example I could give you for example Mesopotamia constituency almost every single voter who has come out to register are known to be supporters of the United Democratic Party. Of Course that is a UDP stronghold but we also have constituencies for example in the Cayo North constituency, in the Belize Rural North Constituency, in the Belize Rural Central constituency. We are having some difficulties and I dont think it’s any secret, we are having some difficulties like for example in the Toledo West Constituency which is leading the charge in terms of re registration because they already registered 50.09% or 50.1% of the voters who were on the list in that constituency and this is only three weeks into the re registration exercise. They have more weeks yet but I think they brought out the bulk of their people already and so as the week go by I think it will be decreasing in number but we suspect most of the people are coming out of the Toledo West constituency will be mobilized by the opposition out there.
The registration centers that are located in all thirty one constituencies will remain open for the next month. Beginning in September, electors will need to go into the main offices to be re-registered.