An investigation has been officially launched into the reported leak of the results from Advance Polling Day on February 21.
The investigation was opened after authorities discovered that some of what was leaked on local social media was the same as the actual advance poll results.
This is according to a preliminary report from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association British Islands and Mediterranean Region (CPA BIMR) which deployed a team of international officials to ‘observe’ the BVI’s 2019 General Elections.
“One published report (leaked result) reflected a district result. As such, the integrity of the electoral process has been undermined,” the observers from the CPA BIMR said in its preliminary findings on Wednesday, February 27.
“If originating from agents and/or candidates, this (the leak) demonstrates a breaking of their oath as set out in the election law and Form 32 … an investigation is underway to determine the source of this breach,” said Felicity Herrmann, an official with the CPA BIMR who was invited to observe the elections by Governor Augustus Jaspert.
Herrmann said the CPA BIMR is not directly involved in the investigation.
“We understand that the Supervisor of the Elections and her office are looking into what happened and where that [leaked information] came from,” she added while answering questions from local media on Wednesday.
Advance polling was held to accommodate police and election officers who were assigned to work on Election Day (February 25), persons on remand, those travelling on Election Day, the elderly, as well as persons who are illiterate or those who require assistance to cast their votes.
A total 1,120 ballots were cast during advance polling. This number represents 7.44 percent of 15,038 total registered voters. This was an increase of 234 votes from the 2015 election, said the CPA BIMR which had also observed the territory’s 2015 General Elections.
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