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Electoral Department not ready for electronic voting

By Samuel Sukhnandan, Staff Journalist

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Gasper Jn. Baptiste

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.

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* Not the actual system being proposed.

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.

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10 comments

  1. THEY CA FIND A WAY TO TWEAK THE SYSTEM SO THAT THEY COULD PUT MORE VOTES FOR THEIR FAVORING PARTY SO THEY WILL NEVER GIVE THE GO AHEAD TO IMPLEMENT IT EVERYWHERE.

    (5)(2)
  2. This election is just too critical for us to make any errors. Let's be clear, a lot of older folks are still illiterate. So why expose them to this system? The best thing is to go with the system we have now. Putting an X next to a picture has resulted in so many spoilt ballots. Could one imagine what it would be like if they are presented with machines! And by the way, the electronic system is subject to even more manipulation, if you know how to do it. There is a reason why a 16 year old can stay in his bedroom and hack his way into financial systems across the globe. We are not ready for an electronic system of voting in St. Lucia.

    (7)(4)
    • BITbyBIT and Associates

      Prat your comments don't refer to our system. You need to see how ours WORK before jumping to those conclusions. No hacker can steal an election with system. Not even the developers have that ability. You should comment in that manner on a system that you have not seen anď know nothing about.

      (0)(0)
  3. The mindset of this department is not progressive.

    (12)(5)
  4. But they can pay a $64,000 medical bill for a member of de party. What a joke St. Lucia. what a joke.

    (15)(1)
  5. With the shock of so many backward people in elective government and government administration, Saint Lucia will be hard-pressed to make much headway as progressive country. See? The electoral machinery is stuck in the colonial past. This government has no spokesperson interested in speaking up about our lack of progress at the political level. This is not in its interest.

    The legacy of this PM and his government will be one of simply securing successive seat majorities to gain future majorities. Nothing more and nothing less. Social progress is just rhetorical, unless described as a race to the bottom with crime, suicides, business failures and stunted economic growth, its so-called better days.

    (83)(2)
  6. Gasper your bias and politics come out clearly in this article. You intend to introduce the stamp system at all costs. This is clear from the steps you have already taken and intend to take to ensure implementation even before Parliament has reviews your proposal. Why don't you give a similar treatment to the e-voting system? Are you too engrossed in things political? Even then the two proposals can be tested at the same time by introducing them to potential voters island wide.

    (26)(2)
  7. That's why St Lucia will always be backwards. I think or guess that some body not Getting a pice of the pie to make it happen. All you have to do is try the system.

    (22)(2)
  8. Until that company approached the said department, I am willing to bet my bottom dollar that the head of that department had not ever considered far less heard of electronic voting. Just vetting the reply given, you can deduce that this is something that may be given attention when Saint Lucia enters the 21st century.

    With a whole pack of stooges, looking for an easy paycheck, aimed at securing their pensions and not disturbing the status quo, you must not expect blood to come out of stone.

    The relays of community development officers a.k.a. MPs who simply go to the House to rubber stamp what the PM of the day reads, that warm the chairs in parliament, they have little to contribute to development and growth. Have no smarts. Are just moronic stooges, when it comes to good governance. Sorry. Good governance? Oh yes. Just another foreign expression.

    (43)(1)
  9. the flip side...............

    When you have dinosaurs at the helm of sectors how do expect to effect any kinda of change , fine no money but how many of you'll have the gonads to pressure government to effect change.............young people are watching................

    (45)(1)

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