As residents eagerly anticipate the 2019 General Elections, the British Virgin Islands is exploring technology that will result in a faster and more efficient ballot-tallying process.
During the quadrennial elections, the Office of the Supervisor of Elections counts each ballot/vote by hand.
But, in a move to terminate that hand-counting process, the Supervisor of Elections and Office of the Deputy Governor are currently holding talks with a United States company that sells voting equipment and services.
The company, which is called Election Systems & Software (ES&S), recently visited the territory to demonstrate one of its tallying equipment — the ‘DS200 tabulator’.
Responding to the demonstration, Supervisor of Elections, Juliette Penn said the technology would be ‘of great benefit’ to the territory.
“The process that we use [and] the time that we spend counting — especially the At-large votes — will be down to a minimum,” Penn said.
“The machines that are being offered will be very helpful to us. They will not in any way impede the speed of the voting. As a matter of fact, I think it would enhance it,” she added.
The neighbouring US Virgin Islands (USVI) has been using the equipment since 2012 and USVI election authorities said the technology is highly recommended.
According to a media release from government, the ES&S is slated to return later this year with customized ballots to conduct further demonstrations of its technology with government officials and other stakeholders.
The US company is then expected to submit a formal proposal to the BVI.
The DS200 is a precinct-based scanner and vote tabulator equipped with the latest in ES&S’ patented technology. The DS200 is said to be fully certified and compliant with US regulator, the Election Assistance Commission. The DS200 is also said to ‘enhance the voting experience for voters and election officials alike’.
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