Information Officer I (Ag.)
Department of Information and Public Relations
Residents of the Virgin Islands will be voting in a Mock Election next Wednesday, September 26.
The mock elections are part of an education campaign by the Office of the Supervisor of Elections as it demonstrates the DS 200 Precinct Scanner and Tabulator as well as e-poll books.
Supervisor of Elections, Ms. Juliette Penn said, “The public would be given the opportunity to vote as in a normal election and at the end of the poll the results will be given.”
Ms. Penn said a special ‘mock’ ballot with fictitious names, political parties and symbols was created solely for this purpose. Participants will be given the opportunity to complete the ballot and feed it into the scanner and tabulator. This will give participants a first-hand opportunity to become educated and familiar with the tabulating machines.
Ms. Penn added, “This is all in an effort to educate the public on the use of the new machines that we are hoping to use in the next General Elections and for them to have an idea of the time frame in which the results would be made known to the public.”
There will be two public Mock Elections. The first will be held in Tortola on Wednesday, September 26 at the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. when the polls will be closed.
The second voting exercise will be held on Virgin Gorda at the Catholic Community Centre from 5:30 p.m. until 7:15 p.m. Results will be tabulated and announced following the close of each poll. The Supervisor of Elections said she is looking forward to the public’s participation in the process and is encouraging as many persons as possible to participate in the Mock Elections. “We want voters to have confidence in what we are doing. I am asking them to come out and be a part of this changing environment,” Penn said. Participants are also urged to present their identification to participate in the exercise.
Another proposed improvement for the next General Elections is the use of e-poll books. The manual process of recording voters is expected to be phased out for the next General Elections. Persons at the Mock Elections will have the opportunity to see the demonstration of the e-poll books.
A delegation from Election Systems and Software (ES&S), led by Business Development Manager, Mr. Willie G. Wesley Jr. of the USA, will be present for the exercises. Mr. Wesley made presentations to the staff of the Office of the Deputy Governor, the Office of the Supervisor of Elections and Members of the House of Assembly earlier this year.
The Office of the Supervisor of Elections will continue its educational campaign in the coming weeks and months on preparations for the next General Elections, including the launch of the voter registration cards.
The Office of the Supervisor of Elections provides with integrity general direction and supervision over the registration of voters; imparts efficient, reliable and courteous service to the general public and is responsible for the administrative conduct of free and fair elections in the Virgin Islands.