Fingerprint cross-matching update likely by weekend— GECOM Commissioner

…int’l tech company still processing C&O data

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has still not reached a decision on whether it will merge data from the House-to-House (H2H) with the national database; however, it is likely that the Commission will be in a better position to determine the way forward by this weekend.

GECOM Commissioner Sase Gunraj

This was revealed at the conclusion of the Commission’s weekly statutory meeting on Tuesday. Asked when issues relating to fingerprint cross-matching will be ironed out, Commissioner Sase Gunraj said that they would get an update on this by this weekend from Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield.
“We are still awaiting the report from the fingerprint cross-matching service provider to determine what, if anything, will be done with the House-to-House data. As we speak, that has not been received,” Gunraj said. He further explained that they are still waiting for a report from international service provider Gemalto on the Claims and Objections (C&O) exercise that ran from October 1 to November 11, 2019.

It is understood that International software company Gemalto is still processing data from the Claims and Objections exercise

“We have also not received any data in relation to the cross-matching exercise from Claims and Objections. So that has basically hamstrung us in relation to the production of lists and related decisions,” Gunraj explained.
Previously, GECOM had said that a Revised List of Electors (RLE) was likely to be completed by early in January. This will then be used to create the Official List of Electors, which will allow persons to vote on March 2, 2020.
But there have been weeks of uncertainty as to what will be done with the data collected from House-to-House Registration. While the Government Commissioners have been pushing for the merging of the House-to-House data with the National Register of Registrants (NRR), this is hotly contested at the commission level by the Opposition.
They have argued that this data will result in the whole database being corrupted. When H2H started this year, it was without the input of the Opposition. In fact, the only party that scrutinised the enumerators during the exercise was the ruling party, as the PPP was not invited to participate.
This, together with the nature in which the exercise started under the backdated order of the former Chairman James Patterson and the fact that many people boycotted the exercise, has not helped arguments for the data to be merged with the National Register of Registrants.
In fact, the parliamentary Opposition has long contended that merging the data would corrupt the entire database, citing the manner in which the data was collected. On the other hand, the Government-nominated Commissioners at GECOM have advocated for the inclusion of the data.
A decision was taken recently by GECOM to post the House-to-House data at its registration office for persons to inspect and then use as a reference to make changes to the Preliminary List of Electors (PLE). At the time, the Opposition was opposed to this decision since the H2H data was likely to be inaccurate.