Elections Supervisor – Wingrove George
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
February 12, 2015 (CUOPM)
Persons who were registered after November 30th 2014 will not be eligible to vote in the February 16th 2015 general elections.
“When a writ is issued between the publication of the last revised monthly list and any other revised monthly list, the last revised monthly list shall be used for the purpose of the conduct of the poll, which essentially translates to mean that any person who registered after November 30th. 2014, will not be eligible to vote in the February 16th General Elections,” said Supervisor of Elections, Mr. Wingrove George in a nationwide address.
He called on persons to examine the register of voters to make sure that their names are listed before going to the poll.
“This simple exercise of examining the Register of Voters could serve to avoid disappointment on polling day,” said George.
He informed the general public that Polling Day is Monday 16th February.
“The Polls will be opened at ninety (90) Polling Stations in St. Kitts and thirty-three (33) Polling Stations in Nevis from 7:00 A.M until 6:00 P.M.,” said George.
He said a list of the location of Polling Stations will be published in the local newspapers and broadcast on local radio stations.
“In addition, addresses of Polling Stations will be posted at the Electoral Office and other conspicuous places in the Electoral Districts. Voters are therefore kindly asked to check these sources for addresses of the Polling Stations. The Polling Stations will be manned by Presiding Officers and Poll Clerks, whose names have been subjected to scrutiny,” said the Supervisor of Elections.
He said these officers have been carefully selected based on their known ability, integrity and id experience.
“The Presiding Officers and Poll Clerks have been appointed on the condition that they should undertake their duties without partiality, fear or favour. The Presiding Officers will be directly responsible for the maintenance of order at the Polling Stations, with the assistance of the security forces as and when necessary. Their role will also involve the giving of guidance and assistance to voters. Voters are thus free to seek assistance of the Presiding Officers in making their (X) mark if necessary,” said Supervisor of Elections George.
He said that the functioning of the Presiding Officers and Poll Clerks will be observed by agents of candidates.
“Candidates are therefore asked to name their agents who will sit inside the Polling Stations with the Presiding Officer and Poll Clerks. This provision is made in order to give candidates representation and the opportunity to monitor the fairness of the conduct of the poll. The working procedure will be explained to the workers by the Presiding Officers in the presence of the candidate’s agents,” said Mr. George.
“For the guidance of all voters, I should mention that each voter may vote only at one Polling Station and for only one candidate. Voters should make their mark (x) with a pencil which will be provided at each polling station. The mark (x) should be placed in the space opposite the name of the candidate for whom the voter is voting. It is important to also point out, that voters will be required to dip one of their fingers in the electoral ink before the ballot paper is deposited in the ballot box,” said Mr. George, who added:
“The provision of ballot paper is a very serious and important aspect of the preparations for the elections. The Electoral Office has therefore taken security measures, beginning from the transportation of the paper to the actual printing and storage of the ballots, in order to ensure that there is no tampering with the ballot paper.”
He disclosed that arrangements will also be made for the agents of the various political parties and the security forces to observe the transportation of the paper from the local business place of purchase to the government printer, as well as the actual printing of the ballot paper.
“After printing, the ballot paper will be distributed to Presiding Officers in sealed envelopes. So, on polling day, Presiding Officers will have to show to all present, that the seals on the envelopes are intact, before opening the envelopes containing the ballot paper,” said Mr. George.
He further pointed out that after the close of the poll, the ballot boxes containing the ballots cast will be sealed.
“The boxes will be collected in vehicles by the Returning Officers. Candidates or their agents, along with the security forces will travel in the same vehicle with the Returning Officers to the places where the ballots will be counted. The ballots will be counted by Returning Officers at the following places,” said Supervisor of Elections, Wingrove George.
The counting of the ballots is expected to commence at 8:00 PM in the evening of polling day.
The results will be carried live on ZIZ Radio and Television and may also be announced on other radio stations during that said evening.