The Office of the Supervisor of Elections has announced that Mock Elections will be held in Virgin Gorda and Tortola, British Virgin Islands at the end of September.
The purpose of the campaign is to test and demonstrate a new innovative equipment for voting and educate the residents how to use it. The government plans to implement and use for real the new scanning device during the upcoming General Elections which are constitutionally due in 2019.
The residents of Virgin Gorda and Tortola have been invited to test the new DS 200 Precinct Scanner and Tabulator during the Mock Election Day. This is a modern voting technology that has been developed by a company in the United States. All voters will be given fictitious names of candidates and parties for which they will have to cast their votes. They will be given instructions as to how to feed their ballots into the tabulator.
Supervisor of Elections, Juliette Penn, explained
“The public would be given the opportunity to vote as in a normal election and at the end off the poll the results will be given. This is all in an effort to educate the public on the use of the new machines that we are hopping to use in the next General Elections and for them to have an idea of the time frame in which the results would be known to the public.”
According to the schedule the Mock Elections will take place on September 26, Wednesday in Tortola at the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex starting 10 am and up until 2 pm. The elections in Virgin Gorda will be hold at the Catholic Community Centre from 5:30 pm to 7:15 pm. The organisers will announce the results following the close of each poll.
All participants will be ask to present identification to participate in the exercise.
“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 noted.
The Office of the Supervisor of Elections is responsible for the administrative conduct of free and fair elections in the Virgin Islands and for the supervision over the registration of voters.
These Mock Elections are part of an educational campaign that will run throughout the coming weeks and months leading up to the real elections.