British Virgin Islands

Monday, Jun 14, 2021

Hon Neville A. Smith ponders overseas voting using E-legislation

Hon Neville A. Smith ponders overseas voting using E-legislation

Deputy Speaker of the Virgin Islands (VI) House of Assembly (HoA) Hon Neville A. Smith (AL) has called for legislators to consider remote voting using electronic legislation.

“It leaves me to ask a question. Since we're doing this electronic filing and we also have electronic voting, how can we take these two together... that students who are away for school don't have to make the long journey or people who are away, make that long journey to come back home to vote?” Hon Smith questioned during his brief contributions to the debate on the Electronic Filing Act, 2019 on March 9, 2021.

Earlier in the debates at the Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duff's Bottom, Tortola, Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) suggested that e-legislation would pave the way for remote services using the internet, should the territory face another disaster or pandemic.

The Premier's arguments; however, focused on business services in both the public and private sectors, rather than elections.

For the 2019 elections in the VI, the territory for the first time implemented e-voting using e-poll books along with the DS200 Precinct Scanner and Tabulating Machine.


Food for thought


Hon Smith noted; however, that his suggestion was something for legislators to ponder on.

“I think that's something, food for thought… because you know at times we have election it also would be very transparent in a way, because if they [are] away and they could get this done in a proper manner, they won't have to spend the money to come home to vote.”

At the 2019 elections in the VI, the territory for the first time implemented e-voting using e-poll books along with the DS200 Precinct Scanner and Tabulating Machine.

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