Updated: September 07, 2018

Response to AG Peter’s Rambling

Dear Sir/Madame,

Attorney General (AG) Levi Peter is trashing suggestions that amendments to the Registration of Electors Act will allow Dominicans naturalized through the island’s Citizenship by Investment Program (CBI) to vote in General Elections. The amendments are expected to go to parliament soon but they have raised some eyebrows. Of particular concern is a section of the amendments for the confirmation for voting of Dominicans living overseas. Some are concerned that these overseas registration offices could be used by CBI citizens to register to vote. However, Peter said the matter is being misunderstood. He described that notion as ‘nonsense’ since according to law, citizens must live in Dominica for a period of time before they are eligible to register to vote.  

Ok Mr. Peter! if that is the case, why are you so concerned about those who live overseas. To the extent,  you are planning to  create places overseas to verify their eligibility, when you say they must be in Dominica for a period of time?

According to Peters:
“That is complete and utter nonsense, rubbish"; he stated so on state-owned DBS Radio. “The qualifications for registration that are in the Act as it stands, remain. One of them, the basic one, which means a CBI citizen who has not lived in Dominica cannot, repeat cannot, and double underline, cannot be registered to vote.”  He explained that one has to live in the relevant polling district in which they are registered for at least three months prior to registration. 

How is he going to say that a CBI citizen has not met that requirement?  Then, let those who feel they are eligible personally show up in Dominica to register.  Why the overseas provision?

Peters glibly stated: “So, a CBI citizen who has not lived in Dominica, never lived in Dominica, never been to Dominica, if that’s the case, absolutely cannot meet that qualifying criterion, let alone the others,” Peter emphasized . “So he or she could not be registered and cannot vote.” He further  stated that those on the current electors’ list may not meet the criteria to vote in the next general election. He pointed out that it is being said all those on the current list will be confirmed to vote. 

If a person wishes to vote in Dominica, show up in Dominica, get your card and confirm your eligibility.

Peter further stressed that those who are already on the list have to satisfy various criteria, “including, and I repeat, including to satisfy the enrollment officer that they have been in Dominica within the last five years preceding the point at which they are being confirmed.”
“So if you have not been in Dominica for ten years and you are going to confirm, you will not be confirmed,” Peter said. “You will be recorded as not meeting the criteria and you will be removed from the list.” He said it is the Electoral Commission, not the government, that will determine various sites out of Dominica that will be used for the purpose of registering people to vote.  

How can it be the electoral commission?   Can they just go to, say the City of Miami, and say we are going to set up a site in your city so Dominicans can vote?  Or does the government of Dominica acting through official channels have to do that?  And then ultimately, whose decision is it as to where and when to set up 'registration sites'?

Curious Citizen.