EBC to demonstrate new data-collection technology in Tobago on Saturday

Fern Narcis-Scope, 
Chief Election Officer at the Elections and Boundaries Commission.
Fern Narcis-Scope, Chief Election Officer at the Elections and Boundaries Commission.

The Election and Boundaries Commission (EBC) will be hosting a small demonstration of the new technology that will be introduced as a pilot project for the Tobago House of Assembly election on December 6.

The live demonstration will be held at the Magdalena Grand Hotel, Lowlands, Saturday at 5.30 pm.

There will also be a questions and answers segment.

EBC’s demonstration follows a letter that was sent by the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) to the commission’s CEO Fern Narcis-Scope expressing dissatisfaction with the commission’s plans to introduce new technology as a pilot project during the election.

The party said even though they appreciate the need to streamline and make efficient all functions within the EBC, it doesn’t think the move to use a new system that has never been tested is not the best decision at a critical point like this for the island.

PDP also raised issues that there was no consultation with any of Tobago’s political parties.

PDP further called on the EBC to ensure all necessary systems and functions are in place to facilitate voters who are in quarantine. It also asked that the commission provide frequent sanitisation, sanitisers and proper signage to ensure voters at the polls are safe.

In response, the commission said it carefully considered the concerns of the party outlined in the letter but reminded that the pilot project will “operate a parallel process on election day in two electoral districts.”

It said the information collected from the project will be used to “establish the efficiency of the process and inform the future development in the electoral management process.

“All voting processes and procedures being utilised in these two districts and all other electoral districts on poll day will continue to be the same as in previous elections. The pilot project will operate in addition to the same manual process.”

It assured the party that “in no way shall the project replace the traditional process.”

It said all precautionary measures will be in place to ensure the safety of all voters and EBC officials at all voting stations.

In response to PDP’s request to facilitate quarantined voters, it said no applications for special voters were made within the statuary period for special elector status for persons in quarantine in state institutions.


"EBC to demonstrate new data-collection technology in Tobago on Saturday"

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