First District Representative, Hon. Andrew Fahie said that some persons especially seniors are threatening not to vote if the new elections technology is used. As such Hon. Fahie implored Premier and Minister for Finance Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith to defray the launch of the electronics.
The concerns noted by Hon. Fahie during the Other Business segment of the 28 December sitting relates to the DS 200 Precinct scanner, tabulator and e-poll books which Government is hoping to use during the general elections that are due before April.
As a means of familiarizing and educating the public the government held a mock-elections in September. However, Hon. Fahie in explaining that there is uneasiness about the technology the First District Representative told the House of Assembly: “There is a lot of anxiety about it and to be honest with you, with such an election that is going to be so closely contested, and all that is going to take place in this election, the majority of persons that I have spoken to from District One to Nine, have asked me to ask the Premier and the members if they could put down that machine until the next election.”
In noting that the situation is especially concerning to older to citizens Hon. Fahie said: “There is a lot of anxiety, the seniors are saying they’re concerned. Some even tell me they ain’t going to the polls cause this machine hard. This is not just a technology thing, this is an election thing when people take their vote very seriously.”
Hon. Fahie said that he embraced that idea of the electronic tabulating, and is on record supporting the move. However, he said that he is being inundated by complaints about the tabulating via electronic means.