British Virgin Islands

Thursday, Apr 15, 2021

Let’s consider facilitating overseas nationals in voting remotely

Let’s consider facilitating overseas nationals in voting remotely

Territorial At-Large Representative, Neville Smith is suggesting the BVI create a way that allows nationals overseas to vote during a General Election without having to journey back home.
He made that suggestion while contributing to the debate on the Electronic Filing Act that passed in the House of Assembly on Tuesday. The Electronic Filing Act allows persons to do business (such as online payments) with the government from anywhere in the world.

Smith suggested for this legislation to be somehow merged with the territory’s electronic tabulating machines that were historically introduced in the BVI’s last elections.

Electronic tabulating machines eliminate the tedious practice of counting votes by hand.

“Since we’re doing this electronic filing and we also have electronic voting, how can we tie these two together that our students who are away to school or people who are away don’t have to make that long journey to come back to vote?” Smith said.

He said this could be beneficial for the territory if done transparently and properly.

“If we can get this done in the proper manner, they (overseas nationals) won’t have to spend that money to come home to vote. So I think it’s food for thought,” he added.
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