Sat | Sep 23, 2017

UPDATED: ECJ reminds of $80,000 fine or prison time after picture of used ballot circulates

Published:Wednesday | February 24, 2016 | 2:55 PM
A picture has emerged on social media of a Northern Trelawny ballot paper dated February 25 that shows an X beside the symbol similar to the one used by the People's National Party.

The Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) says a picture of a marked ballot circulating on the Internet was taken on Monday by a voter during the special services voting. 

Election Day workers and members of the security forces voted on Monday. 

A picture has emerged on social media of a Northern Trelawny ballot paper dated February 25 that shows an X beside the symbol similar to the one used by the People's National Party.

The ECJ says it's initial investigations shows that the ballot was from Monday's voting.

The ECJ says it's carrying out further investigations.

The Trelawny Northern seat is being contested by Dennis Meadows for the Jamaica Labour Party and Victor Wright of the PNP.

Meadows said on Twitter that he had written to the Director of Election, Orrette Fisher, urging an immediate probe.

He also called for the removal of election personnel including the returning officer and his deputy pending the requested probe.

The Political Ombudsman, Donna Parchment Brown had expressed concerns about the ballot picture. 

Meanwhile, the ECJ says a reminder has been sent to all returning and presiding officers and poll clerks to be vigilant in ensuring that recording devices are not used in polling stations. 

The workers have also been reminded that they are to closely monitor activities in polling stations.

 It is a criminal offence to use any device to record the image of a marked ballot. 

Persons found guilty can be sentenced to up to five years imprisonment or ordered to pay a fine of up to $80,000.

*Earlier, this story had named JP White as the PNP's candidate for Trelawny Northern. That was incorrect. The candidate is in fact Victor Wright.