Outspoken clergyman Bishop John I. Cline has urged residents voting in this year’s elections in the [British] Virgin Islands (VI) to be mindful while casting their ballots, noting that the symbols on the ballot papers are unclear.
Mr Cline made the claim while speaking on the ‘My BVI’ show, alongside Angelle A. Cameron, live-streamed on Facebook on April 20, 2023.
Voters at the Sea Cows Bay Polling Station on Advance Polling Day on Thursday, April 20, 2023.
Look for names instead of party symbols- Bishop Cline
During the show, Mr Cline, who said he took an elderly cousin to the polls to vote on Advance Polling Day on Thursday, April 20, 2023, pointed to a number of issues with the ballot paper, such as symbols having faded colours.
As such, he urged voters to look for the names of the Candidates they are voting for instead of the Party symbols.
“My advice, would be to the voters, especially those who may have a little tendency to be confused, put the name of the person that you are voting for- make sure you have the name and when you go in, instead of looking for a symbol because the symbols are not as clear as the last time. Instead of looking for the symbol look for the name. They’re not as bright and colourful…they’re not very pronounced,” Mr Cline stated.
He emphasised that the process can expedited very quickly if voters bare the names of the Candidates they wish to vote for in mind.
Mr John I. Cline alongside Angelle A. Cameron on the My BVI show live-streamed on Facebook on April 20, 2023.
Ballot can be spoilt easily- Cameron
Cameron also noted that she too had the opportunity to view a sample ballot and observed that the area for submission this time around is extremely small, and can easily result in a spoiled ballot.
“I was having a conversation with some elderly people and it was a real concern,” Cameron stated.
This was agreed upon by Mr Cline.
“If I wasn’t with my cousin whose hand is not very steady, that would’ve been a spoiled ballot easy,” he said.
“With the testers that I was able to see over the weekend, it was difficult. I’m surprised that the actual ballots pronunciation of the symbols isn’t clear, because on the sample ballot it is.
“But, what was confusing a lot of people as well on that sample ballot, Bishop, was the names; because for the first time in probably a very long time or this may be historic…the At Large pool is very large, huge, and it runs down a massive length of paper,” Cameron said.
She added that another thing that some may find confusing is the fact that the listings contain the full legal names of Candidates which some may not be familiar with.