The Elections and Boundaries Department of Belize has been made aware of possible irregularities in the San Pedro Office after United Democratic Party’s councilor candidate Severo Guerrero Jr. was found using the department’s computer after working hours with pen and paper in hand on Tuesday, January 17, 2012.
Issues of possible misappropriating information, unethically tampering with and altering data have been raised by representatives of the People’s United Party, the Vision Inspired by the People party and Independent Mayoral Candidate Melanie Paz to the Elections and Boundaries Office.
Milo Paz, Chairman of the PUP in San Pedro commented to Ambergris Today that his party filed an official police report to ensure that there was a record of the incident occurring and that the Central PUP Party had filed a complaint to the Election and Boundaries Office. Both Bobby Lopez and Melanie Paz also expressed their shock about the incident and demand answers.
The People’s United Party outlined that the master list is the national voters database in which the Elections and Boundaries office is tasked with the job of manipulating the database which allows transfers of votes, new votes on the island and controls all registered voters in Belize Rural South and the entire country of Belize.
According to the PUP, having access to the database, Mr. Severo Guerrero Jr. had access to transferring voters from one constituency to another (transfer a competitor's vote from one constituency to another), adding new voters to a constituency and manipulate files without authorization. What Mr. Guerrero was doing on the computer is yet to be determined through investigations to be held by the Elections and Boundaries.
According to media reports in Belize City, Chief Elections Officer in Belize City, Josephine Tamai stated that the Elections and Boundaries Department takes these allegations seriously and has since launched an investigation into the matter. Mariliee Squires, who works at the office in San Pedro has been temporarily moved to the Central Office so they can facilitate the investigation.