EOJ expects smooth sailing despite electronic verification of voters

The Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) will be trying to prevent long delays when voters in St Andrew North West and the Norman Gardens local government division turn out to vote today.

The electronic voter identification system will be used in today's by-elections, but Deputy Director of Elections Earl Simpson says the EOJ is prepared to reduce mistakes.

"We will be having electors who will be coming out to vote. We will seek to do it in the time specified for processing, and that is one of the main reasons why they are here. We want to limit the time that is spent identifying the elector and giving instructions," said Simpson during a recent test run of the system in St Andrew North West.

"An elderly elector will probably spend a little more time because of the time it takes to identify that person's fingerprint on the system. Hopefully once the electors are there, they will vote and they will be off to do what it is that they have to do," added Simpson.

He noted that the constituency has never used the system before.

SMOOTH PROCESS

"Usually we would not have used the system in this constituency, so we are ensuring that the workers know the procedures and how the system operates. How you carry out the various processes and because they have been trained, we expect a smooth process" said Simpson.

During the test run, Maria Harris, who played the part of a blind voter, said she found the process quite easy.

"It's an easier system, especially if someone doesn't have their ID. What they do is to use your fingerprint to bring up your information. Usually, if somebody doesn't have their ID, there is a series of process that they go through, so seeing that I didn't have my ID, I still got through pretty quickly, with little to no issues. So next week (election), I'm up and running," said Harris.

Fellow elector Flo Brown agreed.

"I found it much easier to just come in put your finger on the system so that you can be identified. If you are not identified by your finger, they can still search their list, which will verify that you are still eligible. I found it quite easy. So on election day, I will be out because that is my right and I won't give it up," said Brown.

The polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 5 p.m.


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