The National Field Verification Exercise?

Electoral Lists form the foundation of election administration and are continuously changing. Every day, in every constituency, persons referred to as “new registrants” are added to the Electoral List. Every day, existing registrants change addresses or become inactive (by death or migration). The Electoral List is a permanent, continuously updated database of all persons, who are qualified as electors in Trinidad and Tobago.

The Annual List of 2023 saw an electorate of  1,127,243 persons. An accurate and up-to-date Electoral List is the cornerstone to any functional democracy and is essential to the conduct of efficient, free and fair elections and protecting the integrity of our elections.

At this time, the accuracy of the Electoral List is largely dependent on registrants taking the initiative and actively informing the EBC, of any registration changes, which would affect the List, such as change of name or address or the death of a relative. To a lesser extent, some changes are informed by reliably verified information from Government sources e.g. Registrar of Deaths.  Persons who have changed their address and/or name or both are encouraged to visit the Registration Area Office where they now reside, taking along the required documents needed to effect these changes. Whilst field verification forms part of the daily and routine work of the EBC, there is also the occasional need for a national verification exercise, which is much larger in scope. The last National Field Verification Exercise was conducted in 2001.

The EBC’s National Field Verification Exercise started in April 2023 and will cover all forty-one (41) parliamentary constituencies across Trinidad and Tobago. At this time field work in Tobago is already completed. Field work was started in fourteen (14) constituencies in Trinidad but was forced to pause for the conduct of the 2023 Local Government Elections.

The purpose of the National Field Verification Exercise is:

  • To create an up-to-date List of Electors, which would be in alignment with the Commission’s mandate of conducting efficient, free and fair elections.
  • To ensure, as far as practicable, that each person whose name appears on the Electoral List is entitled to be on this List and is listed at his/her correct address within the respective polling divisions.
  • To obtain information on persons whose names appear on the List for the particular polling division but are either deceased, residing at another location, migrated or unknown at that location.
  • To effect transfers of persons now residing at addresses within a particular polling division, but are registered elsewhere.

In the upcoming months the electorate will be visited by persons working with the EBC as field officers, seeking to verify the status of persons on the List of Electors. This exercise is not to be confused with the national census being undertaken by the Ministry of Planning.  We ask for your assistance and cooperation when met by field officers engaged in this national field verification exercise.