Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tobago Electoral List Questionable

On November the 01st the Express released an electoral list that placed the Tobago electorate above 46,000. The express stated that the EBC indicated that of October the 1, 2012 forty-six thousand, one hundred and twenty seven (46,127) voters were registered to vote in the upcoming Tobago House of Assembly (THA) election in Tobago. This figure by all means have been deemed alarming and quite questionable as it relates to the demographics of Tobago. 

The Central Statistical Office's (CSO) preliminary count of the 2011 population and housing census as of the 9th of January 2011 placed the Tobago Non-Institutional population at fifty three thousand, four hundred and eighty seven (53487), the institutional population-seven hundred and ninety one (791) and the street dwellers were twenty one (21). For the purposes of this article we would focus on the Non-Institutional population and Institutional population inclusive of correctional and penal institutions, which would be our only limitation.  In addition to this, research have indicated that in the 2011Census the population below 18 years was Fourteen thousand, three hundred and nine(14,309). 

Given that the above information is factual, one must now use simply arithmetic or statistics to question the reliability of electoral list.  If we sum both the under 18 (years) population and the electoral population it places the population of Tobago some 11.34 percent higher than the 2011 preliminary Census count, a figure of 60,436.  This indicates that a total of six thousand, one hundred and fifty-eight (6,158) persons would have either become eligible to vote due to a change in age or through the three (3) month defined eligibility enshrined in the THA act. However, further research indicates that the population age seventeen (17) in the 2011 Census was only eight hundred and seventy seven (877), leaving us with a difference of 5281 from the 6,158 figure stated above. Thus, we are left to believe that the remainder 5381 would have in the majority been migrants to Tobago. 

The crux of the matter therefore is, that the electoral population or list remains in many persons opinion a bit exorbitant in relation to the demographics of Tobago. There most be some way of reconciling the Census Population (which can only change through births, deaths or  migration) the electoral list/figure and the under 18 population. A huge jump in the electoral population as it relates to the 2011 population Census can only serve to put distrust in the hearts of Tobagonians and doubts in the minds of Politicians. Tobagonians must question who are these 5281 persons who are now eligible to vote, where did they come from?  and to which constituents are they registered to vote.

Voter Padding have always been a concern in almost all elections within Trinidad and Tobago. Therefore, we must take all precautions to address the issue in an effort to build confidence in the election process. As such, no effort should be spared in eliminating electoral wrong doings and boosting the confidence in the EBC. 

There are 12 electoral districts in Tobago: 1. Bacolet/Mount St George 2. Belle Garden/Goodwood 3. Bethel/Mt Irvine 4. Black Rock/Whim/ Spring Garden 5. Buccoo/Mount Pleasant 6. Canaan/Bon Accord 7. Lambeau/Signal Hill 8. Parlatuvier/ L'Anse Fourmi/ Speyside 9. Plymouth/Golden Lane 10. Providence/ Mason Hall/ Moriah 11. Roxborough/Delaford 12. Scarborough/Calder Hall.

1 comment:

  1. the blind could see something is wrong. it is better to be penny wise than pound foolish. People wake up


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