Calls to ad­dress ‘spoilt bal­lots’ grow in Saint Lucia

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Alison Ken­tish for te­leSUR

Elec­tions in Saint Lucia are con­sti­tu­tion­ally due by 2017 but the gov­ern­ing party has hinted that Saint Lu­cians may go to the polls in early 2016.

Given this, po­lit­i­cal ex­perts and mem­bers of the pub­lic are weigh­ing in on an is­sue that has touched ev­ery re­gional elec­tion over the past three years – that of a high num­bers of re­jected or “spoilt” bal­lots.

St. Lu­cian Po­lit­i­cal An­a­lyst Denys Springer says this must be con­sid­ered be­fore the coun­try votes. “I’m a lit­tle bit con­cerned about what we mean by a spoilt vote be­cause one party may say, ‘No, th­ese are not spoilt votes,’ whereas the other party may say, ‘Yes, th­ese are spoilt votes,’ so we have to come to an ar­range­ment, or some form of con­clu­sion, as to what is a vote that is not ac­cepted,” he said.

Some mem­bers of the pub­lic be­lieve the an­swer lies with an elec­tronic vot­ing process. Most Caribbean coun­tries still use the ‘pen­cil and pa­per’ method, mark­ing the let­ter ‘x’ next to the name of their cho­sen can­di­date.

“Tech­nol­ogy is a very good as­set for us now. It helps to make our vot­ing process much faster and the num­ber of spoilt bal­lots that we get, this could be elim­i­nated,” Gizelle Charles told te­leSUR.

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