Despite being on campaign trails… ARTISTES SHUN VOTING

February 25, 2016
Gladstone Taylor/Freelance Photographer Beenie Man performing at the PNPYO meeting held at the JC Auditorium earlier this month.
Gladstone Taylor/Freelance Photographer Omari performs at the People's National Party (PNP) rally in Portis Simpson Miller Square on Tuesday night.
Gladstone Taylor/Freelance Photographer Popcaan gears up to perform at the PNP Road Tour at Portia Simpson Miller Square in St Andrew on Tuesday.
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In the days leading up to today's General Elections, the support for the two leading political parties in Jamaica has reached fever pitch.

Many Jamaicans could be seen donning their green or orange shirts from as early as Monday in anticipation of today's polls. The support has grown so much that even entertainers have caught the election fever.

Several artistes have been seen on the campaign trails in recent weeks. Some have voiced dubs for the political parties to use at mass rallies, while others have showed up in person to give live performances at political meetings. Beenie Man, Demarco, Popcaan, Jah Vinci, Tifa, Mr Vegas, Twin of Twins and Mavado have all participated in the political gatherings in one way or another, many of them clearly supporting one party over the other. In light of this, THE STAR sought to find out how many of the entertainers who have turned up on the campaign trail are registered voters.

A simple search conducted on the official website of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica's, EOJ.com, revealed that despite rallying support for political parties at mass meetings, the names of many of those artistes did not appear on the current voter's list. One can find out whether their names are included on the most recent version of the list by conducting a simple search using their first and last names, as well as their date of births.

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When THE STAR searched for the names of some of the entertainers listed above, the search came back bearing no results. The STAR sought to verify whether or not the website was experiencing problems, but, up to press time, calls to the EOJ's office and the director of elections, Orette Fisher, went unanswered. THE STAR was unable to verify whether the absence of the names from the website's list meant that the entertainers were unable to vote.

The Electoral Commission of Jamaica publishes two voters' list each year. One list is published on May 31, and the other six months later on November 30. Registration takes place on a continuous basis and persons desirous of being added to the list can simply visit their ECJ Constituency Office and apply. Every Jamaican citizen who is 18 years or over and is a resident of Jamaica can register to vote. Persons who are not of unsound mind, convicted or under a suspended sentence also qualify to vote.

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