Share This On:
The Electoral Department has said it was not pleased with the proposal made by a local company called BITbyBIT to introduce electronic voting in Saint Lucia.
Chief Elections Officer, Gasper Jn. Baptiste, said his Department will not recommend to government the use of the electronic system, because there are a lot more questions than answers.
Jn Baptiste said while a meeting was held with the local company, the Department has come to the conclusion that it may not be the most effective way for persons balloting.
“It’s a situation where we cannot just take a new system and wholesale it onto the electorate. If we intend to use electronic voting, we would test it out first at an election in a few areas, rather than just using it broadly. So we have to be careful,” the Election Department head stated.
The company had said that the electronic system could make the Electoral Department’s work far more efficient, will simultaneously alleviate many issues with the voting process.
According to the company, if the Department chooses to accept this idea, voters will not be required to use a computer or a mouse, and they will be able to verify their choice at the end of the voting process.
Critics have, however, suggested that electronic voting system has many flaws including electronic ballot manipulation, but the company said the system will produce accurate results.
Jn Baptiste said while he is not ready to recommend the electronic voting system yet, they have suggested the use of stamp to reduce the high percentage of spoilt votes.
“The Department has made representation with regards to the stamp that will be decided by Parliament. In order to change the procedure, it has to be agreed and passed by Parliament,” he explained.
The Department is hoping that this matter could be tabled soon, so that it could be discussed and hopefully passes at Parliament, but it is not a guarantee that it will get approval.
“Prior to election, if it is approved, we will educate the voting public on how to use the stamp and we would be going to communities and sensitize people that they should vote,” he added.
In the 2011 general elections, 2,106 votes were rejected, which represents 2.52 percent of spoilt votes, something observers said should not be allowed to happen again.
While elections in Saint Lucia are constitutionally due by 2017, election is likely to take place this year.