KINGSTOWN, SVG (BreadFruit News) – Supervisor of Elections Mrs Dora James has made it clear that the style of ballot boxes used in the ‘contentious’ 2015 general elections will be used in the upcoming elections scheduled for November 5th, 2020.
Speaking on the Round Table Talk on VC3 yesterday with host Theresa Daniel alongside Deputy Supervisor of Election Sylvester King, the top electoral official Mrs Dora James said:
“There is nothing, absolutely nothing in the law that states that we must have a wooden box, a tinning box, whatever.”
“The law says that once the ballot box is locked and nothing can be placed inside or be removed without it being unlocked then the box is legal.”
“Persons have a preference, or they grew up knowing that we had this wooden box. We have gone past that. We have outlived that and so it is not against the law or breaking the law to have the [plastic] ballot box.”
In responding to a question, the Supervisor also hinted that all political parties may be given the opportunity to view the ballot boxes and the design of the ballot papers before polling day upon request.
The issue of plastic ballot boxes surfaced in the election petitions filed by the opposition New Democratic Party following the 2015 general elections.
Former Supervisor of Elections Sylvia Findlay-Scrubb told the court under cross-examination that a decision was taken to move from wooden ballot boxes to plastic boxes before she joined the electoral office in January 2009.
She noted at the hearing that the plastic ballot box was used in the 2009 referendum and the 2010 general elections with former Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace expressing satisfaction with the new boxes.
The NDP in their petitions had contended that the boxes were not secured properly and there was the likelihood that the secrecy of the ballots has been exposed.
However, the boxes are noted to be used in elections around the world.