The Office of the Supervisor of Elections is organising Mock Elections in order to demonstrate the vote-tallying technology that government wants to have implemented for real, upcoming general elections.
There is a Mock Election scheduled for next week and, during that time, residents will be able to utilise the DS 200 Precinct Scanner and Tabulator — a piece of voting equipment developed by a company in the United States.
Residents will be given fictitious candidates and political parties to vote for then feed their ballots into the tabulator.
“The public would be given the opportunity to vote as in a normal election and at the end of the poll the results will be given,” Supervisor of Elections, Juliette Penn said.
“This is all in an effort to educate the public on the use of the new machines that we are hoping to use in the next General Elections and for them to have an idea of the time frame in which the results would be made known to the public,” she explained.
Mock Election dates
The first of two mock elections will be held in Tortola on Wednesday, September 26 at the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex from 10 am until 2 pm.
The second will be held on Virgin Gorda at the Catholic Community Centre from 5:30 pm to 7:15 pm and results will be tabulated and announced following the close of each poll, the elections office said.
“We want voters to have confidence in what we are doing. I am asking them to come out and be a part of this changing environment,” Penn noted.
Participants must present identification to participate in the exercise.
Manual process of recording voters being eliminated
Meanwhile, a media release from Penn’s office said the use of e-poll books is another proposed ‘improvement’ for the next General Elections. The elections office explained that e-poll books will be used to phase out the manual process of recording voters.
These Mock Elections are part of an educational campaign that will run throughout the coming weeks and months leading up to the real elections, which are constitutionally due in 2019.
The mandate of Office of the Supervisor of Elections is responsible for the administrative conduct of free and fair elections in the Virgin Islands. It is also responsible for the supervision over the registration of voters.
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