Fri | Sep 22, 2017

EOJ sets the record straight

Published:Thursday | January 7, 2016 | 1:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

In response to a letter published in your newspaper titled 'Electronic voting will disenfranchise Jamaicans' on January 1, the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) wishes to clarify inaccuracies contained in the letter.

1. The writer seems to think that there is an electronic voting system. I wish to state categorically that there is no electronic voting in Jamaica. The electronic equipment used in polling stations in the selected constituencies on election day uses fingerprints to identify electors, following which they are issued with a regular ballot which is marked in the usual way and then deposited into the sealed ballot box.

2. Using this electronic equipment does not require computer literacy skills on the part of the voter, as all he/she is required to do is place the required finger(s) on the fingerprint reader. Voters, therefore, do not require any assistance that will compromise the secrecy of the ballot.

3. This is not a new system. Since a successful pilot in St Andrew Eastern during the local government elections in 2003, the electronic system has been used in selected constituencies in all general and local government elections. The suggestion, therefore, that the system will disenfranchise electors or make it more difficult for them to vote is totally without merit.

ORRETTE FISHER

Director of Elections