by Emmanuel Joseph
The names of more than 1,500 Barbadians have been purged from the voters’ list in the first half of this year.
And with general elections expected to be called by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart anytime, electoral sources noted today that when voting takes place 11,000 more women will be eligible to cast their “x” than men.
Sources revealed that the Electoral and Boundaries Commission had purged the official voters’ list of 1,517 names – deceased persons – between January and June.
However, the process of cleaning up the list was not enough to alter the general profile of the country, with St. Philip South, now represented by Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite being the largest constituency, and St. Michael Central, held by Minister of Community Development Steve Blackett being the smallest.
A summary of the latest list covering the January to June 2012 period, a copy of examined by this newspaper, showed that 245,672 Barbadians were eligible to vote in this general election. It is made up of 128,288 woman and 117,384 men.
Both major political entities, the ruling Democratic Labour Party led by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and the Opposition Barbados Labour Party led by St. Peter MP, Owen Arthur, are already in election mode, having started on the campaign trail with various mass meetings and house-to-house canvassing.
The largest number of registered voters can be found in two St. Philip constituencies, which officials believe reflect a gradual shift in population to the southern side of the island in recent years.
Some 10,338 Barbadians are registered in St. Philip South, followed by St. Philip North with 9,328, where the representative is Minister of Housing and Lands, Michael Lashley.
The other constituencies exceeding 9,000 voters are St. George South, represented by Minister of Labour Dr. Esther Byer-Suckoo; St. James South – held by Minister of Health Donville Inniss; and St. Thomas, where the Member of Parliament is Opposition member, Cynthia Forde.
Meanwhile, officials explained that if the present number of eligible voters in St. Michael Central, 6,793, remains about the same on polling day, this would represent the smallest of all the constituencies.
With the department continuing its elections preparation, the spokesman said once the 30 writs were issued by the Governor General, the preliminary list must be released within three days, followed by the final one “a couple days” before the poll.