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More polling stations among considerations for 2015 Elections!

Supervisor of Elections Juliette Penn. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Not surprisingly, the amount of polling stations for General Elections is among the issues that would be looked at by the Elections Office in order for an even more efficient electoral process come next four years.

“I acknowledge the long lines were the biggest challenge we had during this election, especially where voting was heavy…We are going to look at having more polling stations basically in the big areas,” said Supervisor of Elections Juliette Penn in an interview with Virgin Islands News Online.

This issue was expected to be addressed bearing in mind that the number of voters, and even candidates, have been increasing. In the 3rd, 4th, 6th and 8th districts especially, a number of voters had expressed their concern over the inadequate polling stations set up throughout Tortola at the November 7, 2011 General Elections. So 18 polling stations were set up, however, there was only one in Sea Cows Bay, which had one of the largest amount of registered voters, one in the 4th District and two in the 6th and 8th Districts, which are some of the most populated areas in the Territory.

However, Mrs. Penn explained that while more than one polling station may be needed in a district, her office will have to strategize to make sure there are no loopholes for voters to manipulate the system. According to Penn, officers will have to achieve an iron-clad system where a voter would not vote more than once. “In some Caribbean countries, a voter has to dip his finger in ink. But in the Virgin Islands ballot papers are used. So what is to say if there is more than one station in a district that a voter will vote at one and then go to another and vote again,” the Elections Supervisor said, in painting a scenario. She said it would be time consuming if officers had to call each other to confirm if a voter cast his ballot at a different polling station in the district.

Speaking of the new order regarding the counting of the Territorial At Large ballots, where the counting took place at the polling stations rather than one location as was done at the 2007 elections, Mrs. Penn said even though the process was faster this time around it would still be reviewed. “There will be some revision to that. I don’t know if we would want to continue on that route but we will have some time to reflect on how it went.”

Mrs. Penn also told this news agency that as far as she was concerned the process on polling day went well and that there were no hiccups that she was aware of. Asked about the conduct of candidates on elections day, the Supervisor of Elections said there was no code of conduct for the candidates but as far as she knows there was no breach of the constitution regarding elections.

Meanwhile, the Supervisor also commended her staff who worked pre and post elections for ensuring a relatively smooth process. “I think they did a wonderful job, there are several areas for improvements but overall I think they did a good job."

21 Responses to “More polling stations among considerations for 2015 Elections! ”

  • Albion (11/11/2011, 08:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Kudos to Mrs. Penn and her team. I was glued to the radio from 6:00pm until after 04:00am Tuesday and the permanent reporting of her team kept as well in the loop. I also wish to say thanks to ZBVI for 24hrs. reporting.
  • Confucius (11/11/2011, 09:01) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I hear they have these computing machines that can be interconnected! You have a list of names and as soon as someone shows up to vote at one polling station, their name is ticked off indicating that they have already voted. Amazing stuff! Failing that, perhaps time frames could be allotted. I don't know how many people (on average) cast their votes within a one hour period, but it would be simple enough to send out notices to registered voters asking them to cast their votes between 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and the next group between the hours of 8:00 to 10:00, etc. A system like this might avoid a crush of people all arriving within the same approximate time frame. Of course, there will always be stragglers or people whose time schedules are not flexible. But I think the majority could manage it and it would certainly alleviate the line ups. Just a thought.
  • ooooo (11/11/2011, 09:07) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    there is need for an investigaton as to why this woman allowed people from other districts to vote in the 3rd and 8th
    • Wait A Minute (11/11/2011, 10:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Why don't you start the investigation? You sound like a moron. Be sure you know what you are talking about before you say it. In other words, engage your brain before you open your mouth.
    • righton (11/11/2011, 11:05) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      stop it. The people spoke with their X so stop it
  • Narrow minded? (11/11/2011, 11:07) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    @wait a minute. Younhold it. ooooo has a point. For one to register one should in a edition to a photo od produce a proof of residence document. This could be any utility bill with your home address on it or a copy of your lease agreement if you a renting. People living in other restricts should not determine the outcome that others have to live with. NONESENSE!! and why is it not requirement for us to show a photo ID at the polling stations S proof that we are who we say we are?
    • billyb (11/11/2011, 14:05) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      you sound so stupid. The youths are the ones that brought the election home for us. Tell me where will an eighteen year old get a utility bill or rent receipt? Big grown folks in this economy have to shack up now a days to make a living so I will venture to say eighteen year olds only worried about tapping up their phones and most of the time their sugar daddies and sugar mamas are tapping it up for them, lol.
      • Hmmmmpppp (11/11/2011, 19:01) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        My cousin told me that all they told him was write in his name on the paper and sign. Anybody got that same story. The students didn't know what district them put them in. Some of them you had to tell. Even big people didn't know why they were in certain districts. Well sah. Launch an investigation. We don't want the results changed. Move them folks to the districts where they belong. That will end this. Students and adults you all did the thing now do the right thing. Transfer to your rightful place, and vote in the community in which you live to make a difference there. That's the right thing. Now Leh we do This thing
      • OK (13/11/2011, 16:31) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        The election Act straight forward. Register to vote where you live. Therefore you all should have asked the youths where them live, and don't put them where you want. Youths end up voting in a district when they live in another district with their parents. If I were them youths I wouldn't vote, but then again tis people who always getting in trouble register. Check out the 8th. It typical.
    • Take it easy (11/11/2011, 21:37) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Hon R.T. O'neal has lived the the 4th district before you were born, yet he is registered in th 9th disrict., start with him.
  • time (11/11/2011, 11:12) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Jus how there were 2 in there 6th & 8th district and seems there were not a loop hole. really why not the 3rd and other populated areas. The 3rd had so many reqistered & new registered voters, this was known and not the day before the election. Yet there was one station for the 3rd and the ballot papers come LATE. There are adequeste places such as the schools and community centers. Confucius made good points. Hmm why not names in alphabectical order or zone the district. Isnt district 3 from slaney/prospect reef to pockwood pond. I am seeing at least 2-3 stations there by zones in the 3rd. People of the 3rd was in the line 2-3hrs before we cast our votes, I live in that area and no matter what time i look down, the lines was on the sidewalk going back to the boat ramp. It was 6pm and the line was still far back. But otherwise, we had a good election!
  • K (11/11/2011, 11:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    It can be done in alphabetical order. Last names that begin with A to M should vote at another location than N to Z. Its simple. Sea Cows Bay had too much people.
    • billyb (11/11/2011, 14:06) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      sea cows bay don't have too much people. 30% of the voters were from St. Thomas, for both kevin and fraser
      • shut up (11/11/2011, 17:42) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        we saw people from east west virgin gorda all over
        • bad people (12/11/2011, 14:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
          what about the people they resgister from Town, East, and cane garden bay just to try and get out Frazer...but they failed
  • mother hen (11/11/2011, 15:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    the NDP stole the election in the 7 the 4 distrcit and tired in the 3..i work at the polling station but i will not talk all
    • Well......... (12/11/2011, 07:57) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      I don't agree with all, because number 7 and 4 were clear hits. They tried in the 3rd and succeeded in the 8. all through deceit. I think these are the real ones to look at. i doubt the premier knew bout this one and if he did i shame cause i split and give he one too.
      • please investigate (12/11/2011, 14:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        i agree the 8th was a mess...I voted with a pen and never saw that ballot, plus the 3rd all thoses people they register from outside the district and does not live in the district....NDP won by stealing in 2003 now they did the same thing againin 2011.....but Jahover is awake
  • shut up (12/11/2011, 15:06) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    she needs to go her old backside out of election office
    • Amen.... (12/11/2011, 22:25) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      I know what you mean. She need to resign before this thing get too hot.
  • Greater understanding (13/11/2011, 18:55) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    What needs to be in effect is picture voters registration cards and to revamp the voters list and have everyone re-register in the district they are living .The electoral process has to change or else people can vote anywhere they choose to as the constitution gves them that right.It may not seem fair but that is what it is. Some politicians will kick up against this as they may feel cheated.

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