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#4921: Re: #4845: The press and voter registration: Driver replies to Chamberlain (fwd)

From: "Tom F. Driver" <tfd3@columbia.edu>

On Aug. 11 Greg responded to Michelle Karshan as follows:

        >Michelle, I don't have the clips to hand, but I'm sure you'll
        >find the foreign press wasn't saying people were registering
        >"solely" because they wanted ID cards. As I remember, they were
        >noting that _some_ people (a few) seemed to be doing it for this

In early May, my Witness for Peace delegation interviewed a journalist
from Radio Haiti-Inter, the station of the late lamented Jean
Dominique.  This man told us that the Haitian people were so alienated
from the electoral process that only 10% of them would vote.  When I
said that seemed strange because so many were registering, he replied
that they were doing so only for "social" reasons, that they had never
had any form of personal ID and wanted the registration card to be able
to show it around.  He also said that Aristide would get a bare majority
of the votes cast.

I don't know how many of "the press" were taking this same line.
Anyhow, it seemed to me a classic case of whistling in the dark rather
than talking to people on the street, which we did and came to a very
different view of the matter.

Tom Driver

Tom F. Driver
Sheffield, MA