Carlos should go to court for his 30 votes

Opinion: The preliminary results for North Leeward saw a razor thin 7-vote victory for the Unity Labour Party’s Carlos James in the November 7, 2020 General Election.

Then, after a long painstaking recount, James had succeeded by only one vote over the New Democratic Party’s Roland Matthews, who held the seat since 2010.

The dust seemed to be settled on the matter until it emerged that ballots which were not not stamped were rejected. The non-stamping of the said ballots was not the fault of the voter but that of the presiding officers who worked in the polling stations in question.

There was a total of 39 rejected ballots in the constituency with 20 of those recorded in one polling station. These votes, casted by voters that voted properly by marking who they wanted to vote for, were not counted as legitimate votes because the presiding officer(s) in some cases, did not follow a simple procedure to stamp and initial all ballots.

Some 30 of those voters signaled, by a mark, that they intended to vote for Carlos James.

This large-scale disenfranchisement of voters in a close battleground constituency, should be taken to court and Carlos James, the biggest victim of this travesty should lead the way in ensuring that voters who voted properly have their votes counted as valid votes.

The rejected ballots:

Of particular importance is polling station A, located at Golden Grove, Chateaubelair, where the surnames A-Z voted. At that polling station which had 326 registered voters, 258 votes were cast. The Unity Labour Party received 79 votes, while the New Democratic Party received 159 votes. Some 20 of those votes were rejected.

The second highest number of rejected ballots in North Leeward was recorded in polling station F at Rose Bank, with voters carrying the surnames A-Z. There were 560 registered voters, with 436 votes cast. The ULP received 286 votes, while the NDP received 145 votes. Five (5) votes were rejected.

Three (3) votes were rejected in polling station E1, at Petit Bordel, two (2), two at polling station D, at Chateaubelair, two (2) at polling station G, at Troumaca, two (2) at polling station J at Spring Village, one at H1 and one at I, and one rejected ballot at several other polling stations, a total of 39 rejected ballots. See here for the breakdown.

By North Leeward Voter

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