Deputy Commissioner of the National Registration and Deputy Chief Election Officer of Operations, Guyana Elections Commission
Focus: Reconciling Economic Policy and Institution-Building Goals, Elections
Keywords: voter registration, recruitment, vote counting, election management body, polling supplies, results declaration, training, election security, codes of conduct, rural voter registration, communications, staff performance, voter fraud
Interviewer(s): Varanya Chaubey
Country of Reform: Guyana
Location: GECOM Headquarters, Georgetown, Guyana
Date: Thu May 14 2009
Calvin Benn of the Guyana Elections Commission recounts the depth and breadth of his experience in the administration and management of Guyana's national elections, particularly focusing on the successes of the 2006 election process. In his capacity with the commission, Benn oversaw the registration of voters and administration of polling places, including the distribution of polling supplies, recruitment and training of poll workers, and vote counting and verification. Benn shares some relatively straightforward approaches to resolving voting day challenges, including simulation exercises, acquainting poll workers and security forces with polling places, the training of political party polling "scrutineers," the shipment of polling supplies, and the procedure for vote counting. The interview can be broken into two related but distinct parts: Benn's role as the administrator of the polling process and his related but separate responsibility overseeing a continuous registration process for national identification cards for purposes that include but are not limited to voting registration.
Full InterviewDownload MP3 (68.6MB)
Calvin Benn- Full Interview
At the time of this interview, Calvin Benn was the deputy commissioner of national registration and deputy chief election officer of operations at the Guyana Elections Commission. He became a full-time employee of the commission secretariat in 2000, having served the organization since 1975 in various part-time positions. His previously taught and worked for the the Ministry of Education. His experience with administration of elections in Guyana included local, district, and national elections. He oversaw the continuous registration process as well as a house-to-house registration verification exercise.