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VIP shares concerns with election observers

- comfortable with Commonwealth Observer Mission thus far
From left: Carvin Marlone (President of the VIP), Hon Stephen C. Rodan SHK (Head of Observer Mission), and Matthew Salik (Election Analyst/Observer) discuss roles and responsibilities. Photo: Provided
Zoe Walcott-McMillian (District 5 candidate, VIP) makes a candid observation while At-Large Candidate Sharie DeCastro (L), and District 2 candidate Rahaj Smith (R) listen intently. Photo: Provided
Zoe Walcott-McMillian (District 5 candidate, VIP) makes a candid observation while At-Large Candidate Sharie DeCastro (L), and District 2 candidate Rahaj Smith (R) listen intently. Photo: Provided
From left: Lemuel ‘ChiChi’ Smith, Carvin Marlone (President of the VIP), Hon Stephen C. Rodan SHK (Head of Observer Mission), Matthew Salik (Election Analyst/Observer), Joann ‘Roxie’ Romney (District 4 candidate, VIP), Elvis ‘Juggy’ Harrigan (District 6 candidate, VIP ) and the Hon Ralph T. O'Neal OBE (former Premier). Photo: Provided
From left: Lemuel ‘ChiChi’ Smith, Carvin Marlone (President of the VIP), Hon Stephen C. Rodan SHK (Head of Observer Mission), Matthew Salik (Election Analyst/Observer), Joann ‘Roxie’ Romney (District 4 candidate, VIP), Elvis ‘Juggy’ Harrigan (District 6 candidate, VIP ) and the Hon Ralph T. O'Neal OBE (former Premier). Photo: Provided
SEA COWS BAY, Tortola, VI- Three members of the Commonwealth Observer Mission here in the Virgin Islands for the June 8, 2015 General Elections met with a large delegation from the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) on Thursday June 4, 2015 where they were made aware of some of the concerns the VIP has regarding the voting process.

The three-member observer team that met with the Virgin Islands Party at VIP Headquarters in Sea Cows Bay yesterday included Head of the Commonwealth Observer Mission, Hon Stephen C. Rodan SHK and Election Analyst/Observer, Matthew Salik. The other members of the 6-member Observer Mission include Ruth Blackman - MP in Turks and Caicos, Winston Green - a Jamaican MP, Rachael J. Atkins – Election Coordinator and Ellen N. Shustik – Elections Analyst.

The VIP team was head by its President Carvin Malone, and included former Premier Hon Ralph T. O’Neal OBE, as well as several candidates.

The Virgin Islands Party, led by Chairman Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) had openly called for election observers, saying that owing to the political climate nothing should be left to chance.

Concerns

One of the main concerns of the Virgin Islands Party and which was expressed to the observes, according to Mr Malone, was the possibility of voters being confused since it was indicated there would be no voter identification cards and yet voters may voluntarily or may be asked for some form of picture identification although they would be allowed to vote if not in possession of any identification.

“We felt that leaves room for confusion. We want it to be straight forward. Either you are requesting photo id or you are not and no one should be confused as to whether or not ids should be required,” Mr Malone told Virgin Islands News Online.

The second concern expressed had to do with the safe keeping of the envelopes containing the ballot papers after Advance Polling Day, and that the safe keeping of the envelopes are done without elements of doubt. “If they are being held in a safe then that safe should only be accessible by maybe two persons as opposed to anyone person having access to them over the weekend.

“We want to make sure that wherever the envelopes are left that everyone is comfortable with it and there is no possible tampering. Yes the envelopes are sealed, yes they are marked and yes they are signed but where they are physically lodged is where we want to be sure,” Mr Malone clarified.

The issues of persons trying to influence another to vote while in the line at polling stations and taking pictures of their ballots were also raised and, according to Malone, it is the hope that there is proper monitoring of such possible activities.

According to the Supervisor of Elections, Juliette Penn, no cameras or cellphones are allowed in polling booths.

VIP comfortable with observer team

Meanwhile, Mr Malone said the party was informed of the role of the observers, including that they would be monitoring the election activities before and on Polling Day, and that they do not have the power to correct anything they see going wrong but they would take notes and give a full report which would be available to all of the candidates and residents online.

Asked whether the VIP is comfortable with the Elections Observer Mission, Mr Malone said the party is comfortable thus far. “There is a varied degree of experience in terms of elections monitoring. There are some who have monitored up to seven elections, those who have monitored about three and those who have been involved in the process for a number of occasions. By virtue of their past experience, yes, there is a level of comfort.”

Advance Polling

Meanwhile, Advance Polling is today from 9am to 2pm at polling stations across the districts.

The Amendments to the Elections Act of 1994 permits a voter who is incapacitated by reason of being an elderly person, illiterate or any physical cause to be able to vote with the assistance of a friend. The term ‘friend’ includes family and relatives. This category of voter has the option to take advantage of Advance Polling Day.

Advance Polling Day is also for election officers and police officers who will be working on Polling Day, Monday, June 8, 2015.

15 Responses to “VIP shares concerns with election observers”

  • LOL (05/06/2015, 09:18) Like (20) Dislike (21) Reply
    We are so stupid. $500 for young people votes and more if you're grown is what the incumbent party is paying. The reason we're stupid is because they usingour own money to pay us. Tax payer money. Its like if you did a job for someone and when you got done tthey go in your bank account get the money and pay you. The haven't loss anything because they dealing with your money.

    People hoping when they go to certain bars they hope they see the minister there cause he going to blow the house. But again that's your money.

    Let's stop being so damn stupid and wise up and put some politicians in that are not blow our tax dollars. Instead of voting along party lines let's vote for politicians with strong ethics. Not those lying, self serving ones that are currently on all parties ballots.
    • Ha Ha (05/06/2015, 10:05) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
      LOL. I hear a certain opposition candidate is handing out free construction material.
    • mawd (05/06/2015, 16:06) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
      Hey Lol is right. Let's vote the horse and not the whole stable.
  • Iatolaha (05/06/2015, 09:53) Like (6) Dislike (5) Reply

    Lol is right on the money. However I would like to comment on a certain person who have no scruples whatsoever. There is irrefutable evidence making its rounds of the cheque for $25000 they allegedly paid for help in purchasing a vehicle. And this is the type of people we want to represent us. Give me break

    • ABC (05/06/2015, 10:44) Like (4) Dislike (19) Reply
      Don't forget the pickup truck that is going around giving out packages of bottle water in the 4th District. No turkey and ham this time around.
  • Well YOU are, but I dont know if WE are (05/06/2015, 10:16) Like (8) Dislike (4) Reply
    The Stupidity starts with you.
    I don't know if we are stupid as a collective bunch, but I know you are stupid as an individual.
    • LOL (05/06/2015, 10:58) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      We will see how stupid WE are after Monday.
    • voter (05/06/2015, 11:37) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
      Truth is the politicians are simply giving the voters what they want. Mudslinging, name calling, and handouts are expected and wanted.
      When politicians try to stick to the issues and try to hold people accountable we don't take them on and call them weak, waste of time, or not ready.
      The voting public needs to make different demands on those seeking elected office. Too often we hear that he or she didn't do anything for me. Truth is they shouldn't. They are there to make the best choices to develop the country not feather individuals.
      Corruption and politics seem to be synonymous these days but it is really time for the voting public to raise their expectations and demand integrity, better behaviour, and quality of our elected representatives. Perhaps stupid is too strong a word but perhaps it is not. Either way let us demand better of ourselves and our representatives
  • Yall too funny (05/06/2015, 11:05) Like (30) Dislike (41) Reply
    All of a sudden the opposition behaving ohhh so concerned about the election system. Yall were not that concerned back in 2001 and 2007 though. A set of fronters you are. The observers know more about you than your own darn selves.
  • Scary Mary (05/06/2015, 11:38) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    EVERY election, we here this sort of thing. The "white envelope" story has been circulating for donkey's years.

    Just ONCE, I'd like to see some proof that our politicians are buying votes, paving driveways, building retaining walls and giving handouts as many claim. Isn't there ONE honest person out there who can supply irrefutable proof that these things are happening? IT IS ILLEGAL folks!

    If it really is happening and nobody is willing to supply proof, then that means every single person being bribed is accepting those bribes which basically means there is no hope for us as a people. We are too far gone.

    The only other conclusion is that it's all a big fat lie. So which is it? Are we liars or immoral and unethical? Either way, it sure doesn't paint a pretty picture.
  • LOL (05/06/2015, 12:33) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    @scary Mary. Wide people know where there smoke there's soon to be fire. The "white envelope" is not a fairy tale but to speak on it is taboo. Like your question posed, are we too far gone. Sadly to say; Yes.

    Can we come back from this and recover? As you stated, its so entrenched in our culture to be given handouts by government versus working for what we want. I sadly think we are hopeless overall and headed for truly hard and dangerous times.

    Remember the saying "you can't make written wrong turn right!"

    This part of the world was dominated by pirates looting the worlds ships and bring their booty back to the islands to safe guard. Fast forward to now, the pirates of the world are still hiding their booty here in the way of off shore bank accounts. So as you can see we've come full circle and sadly I strongly feel that the cycle will continue and nothing good can ever come from it our to us overall.
  • Voter Too (05/06/2015, 12:40) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Desperate times desperate measures. Government and opposition gonna see how they can Gagner some extra votes today and Monday so expect any and everything . I just want the best for the BVI not because my navel string ain't bury here.
  • I hope they said all (05/06/2015, 12:48) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    why don't they talk about dead people who vote for them last election?
  • LOL (05/06/2015, 13:07) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    I am concerned about the number 611


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