Got TIPS or BREAKING NEWS? Please call 1-284-442-8000 or Email ALL news to:newsvino@outlook.com; ads call 1-284-440-6666

1G increased fees to run; counting machine in effect for 2019 Elections

-Elections (Amendment) Act 2019 with Governor for signature
According to information confirmed by the supporters of the Election (Amendment) Act 2019, under the new system, paper ballots will still be used, but after voters cast their ballots the votes will be scanned and tabulated electronically, saving time. Photo: VINO/File
Supervisor of Elections Ms Juliette Penn. Photo: GIS
Supervisor of Elections Ms Juliette Penn. Photo: GIS
Outgoing and ‘lame duck’ Premier and mover of the Bill, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) claimed in the HoA—when he introduced the amendments—that “the supervisor of elections has assured me that education about the use of the new scanner and tabulator will continue leading up to the elections.” Photo: Facebook
Outgoing and ‘lame duck’ Premier and mover of the Bill, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) claimed in the HoA—when he introduced the amendments—that “the supervisor of elections has assured me that education about the use of the new scanner and tabulator will continue leading up to the elections.” Photo: Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - While it seems like it has not gotten much attention following the debate, residents, political parties, candidates and voters should be aware that the Elections Act was amended.

The new amendments will be used for the first time in the Monday, February 25, 2019, General Elections, in the British Overseas Territory of the Virgin Islands (VI).  

Lots of discussion in committee

After hours of deliberating in a Committee of the whole House of Assembly (HoA), legislators passed the amendments to the Election Act on Tuesday, January 22, 2019.

The Amendments is to facilitate electronic counting on Election Day and eliminate the need to count ballots by hand, taking hours and sometimes going into the wee hours of the morning of the next day.

According to information confirmed by the supporters of the Election (Amendment) Act 2019, under the new system, paper ballots will still be used, but after voters cast their ballots, the votes will be scanned and tabulated electronically, saving time.

This will apply to both district voting and At-Large seats according to two senior Legislators speaking to our newsroom on condition of anonymity.

Dr Smith failure

It is a “counting system not a system to vote electorally and it’s sad that Dr Smith did not properly explain this to the people of the Territory,” one elected Member stated.

However, the paper ballots will be there so “they will have to reconcile with what the machine counted” the Member stated.

However, outgoing and ‘lame duck’ Premier and mover of the Bill, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) claimed in the HoA—when he introduced the amendments—that “the supervisor of elections has assured me that education about the use of the new scanner and tabulator will continue leading up to the elections.”

While the Smith regime's record on press freedom remains suspect, they are yet to make the Bill or what was passed, known to the public. It is unclear, if other provisions were made; for example, to allow for more people to vote at advance polls, inmates at Her Majesty’s Prison to vote, and regular residents travelling before the elections date to participate in the early Friday voting.

Bill with Governor

The same Bill had an amendment imposing a code of conduct on political parties and candidates and it is not known, if those made the final Bill to be signed by Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert. 

Speaking moments ago to a senior government source—who was not authorised to publicly discuss the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity— they told our news centre that “the Bill went to the Governor today [January 25, 2019] for his signature (royal assent)” and “It will be made public shortly.”

Have your 1G on nomination day

The source did confirm that “one thing in the Bill is the increase of fees for candidates on Nomination day.  It moved from $500.00 to $1000.00.”

The senior source also confirmed that “the counting machines will be used for all ballots, both those who are voting for District Candidates and those voting for Territorial At-Large Persons.”

HoA Spokesman, Linton V. Leonard could not be reached for comments.

7 Responses to “1G increased fees to run; counting machine in effect for 2019 Elections ”

  • .. (25/01/2019, 21:48) Like (2) Dislike (6) Reply
    Look trouble
  • facts (25/01/2019, 22:44) Like (4) Dislike (8) Reply
    So all thoes dead horses will have to pay more
  • vex (25/01/2019, 22:56) Like (4) Dislike (6) Reply
    Dr Smith even on his last day could not explain a bill smh
  • ccc (26/01/2019, 09:30) Like (12) Dislike (4) Reply
    So by 10 pm on Feb 25th the vip can form their government clap clap clap clap clap clap clap
  • one eye (26/01/2019, 10:54) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
    PEOPLE KEEP YOUE EYES ON THAT ELECTION OFFICE
  • Observer (26/01/2019, 11:57) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply
    We say we going digitize Government, yet we are afraid of voting machine. Thing to talk.
  • Things to talk (26/01/2019, 15:01) Like (3) Dislike (10) Reply
    Is so amazing the the said VIP campaiging about going digital and being innovative but yet they now complaining about a simple electronic counting machine. Really went will we take our head out od the sand. For God in heaven sake stop scandling electoral office head name. Whe VIP won 11-2 she was the same supervisor I guess she did not cheat then.


Create a comment


Create a comment

Disclaimer: Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) welcomes your thoughts, feedback, views, bloggs and opinions. However, by posting a blogg you are agreeing to post comments or bloggs that are relevant to the topic, and that are not defamatory, liable, obscene, racist, abusive, sexist, anti-Semitic, threatening, hateful or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be excluded permanently from making contributions. Please view our declaimer above this article. We thank you in advance for complying with VINO's policy.

Weather


Follow Us On

Disclaimer: All comments posted on Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) are the sole views and opinions of the commentators and or bloggers and do not in anyway represent the views and opinions of the Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Virgin Islands News Online and its parent company.