Scarborough voters clueless about shelved EBC pilot project

Doyle Legall voted on Monday in the Scarborough/Mt Grace electoral district at St Andrew's Anglican Primary School. - Photo by Stephon Nicholas
Doyle Legall voted on Monday in the Scarborough/Mt Grace electoral district at St Andrew's Anglican Primary School. - Photo by Stephon Nicholas

Voters in the Scarborough/Mt Grace electoral district were either clueless or unimpressed with the Election and Boundaries Commission (EBC) plan to implement an electronic data-monitoring system during Monday's THA election.

The pilot project, announced a week ago for just two electoral districts – Scarborough/Mt Grace and Mt St George/Goodwood – was shelved by the EBC on Sunday after strong opposition by the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) and United National Congress (UNC).

The PDP declined an invitation to view a demo of the system on Saturday. The party later sent a legal letter to the EBC saying the initiative imposed on the privacy of voters and the information gathered could be used unscrupulously if it fell into the wrong hands. The PDP also warned that it would file an injunction to stop the EBC if it persisted.

One woman, who voted on Monday at the St Andrew's Anglican Primary School, told Newsday she heard vaguely about the pilot project but did not know enough about it to elaborate.

She complained the voting process was slow around midday.

"They drag their foot a little bit," she said.

Another woman, Cherish, said she was unaware of the initiative.

Asked if voting twice in a year was an issue for her ,she said, "It wasn'a problem. It just was necessary. Certain things are necessary if yuh want change or if yuh don't want change."

She said she will be glued to the TV this evening looking at the results.

"It is very exciting," she said animatedly, the pitch of her voice changing.

Cherish said the virtual campaign was enough for her to make up her mind.

"Most of the time you would have been listening on social media. We get accustomed to the lockdown and the curfew so now yuh not even feeling to go out. We still get the information."

Another woman, who wished to stay anonymous, said she knew nothing about any EBC project.

However, she is looking forward to a winner in this THA election as voting twice in 2021 was stressful.

"You would have wanted it to be completed on the first rounds,"she said. "I just hope everybody want to make the right choice this time around.

"If it goes my way, I'll be rejoicing with my family of course, because everybody on the same team."

Voter Doyle Legall told Newsday he felt the EBC initiative was a bit rushed and not enough consultation was done with the electorate."Yes, I heard about it. I think anything that has to be part of the election process, people who are part of it should know, be given the info, rather than start something new which could be intrusive. I come to vote and leave.

"With (more) info we might have accepted it a bit more. Yuh need to talk to people a little more."

Legall said the virtual campaigning had its pros and cons.

"It's a good and bad. The good is that you can rewind, see it at a later date. Yuh could sit down and take it in personally, as if they talking to you – instead of a crowd where yuh might lose out some key points in the distractions. The virtual was nice but the personal touch being there with people, yuh didn't have that."


"Scarborough voters clueless about shelved EBC pilot project"

More in this section