Commonwealth commends St. Kitts and Nevis Electoral Commission, says secrecy of ballot satisfactorily observed

Labour Party supporters

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, FEBRUARY 23RD 2010 (CUOPM) – The Commonwealth Observer Team that monitored the January 25th general election in St. Kitts and Nevis is commending the Electoral Commission for the use of the National Identification Card and the Photo List in the polling stations.

“This was a considerable asset to the polling process and served to allay most of the fears from previous elections about multiple voting”, said the Report released by Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma on Friday. Advanced copies of the 33-page Report were received by the Office of the Prime Minister prior to public release.

The Commonwealth Team reported that a great majority of voters were in possession of their identity card and the few that were not, confirmed their identity by showing other photographic identification such as a passport or driver’s license.

“Voters’ lists at each polling station were usually, but not invariably, displayed outside the polling station which also contributed to facilitating the process of identification,” said the Report.

The Commonwealth Team, headed by former Foreign Minister and the Opposition Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs in New Zealand, the Hon. Chris Carter in its report noted that the Team heard concerns from opposition party commentators and some voters about the indelible ink used to prevent multiple voting – as it appeared to wipe off easily.

“The Team’s observations (and in the case of one Team member, personal testing) revealed that the ink did in fact deepen in colour following its attempted removal, and the Team was satisfied with the performance of the ink,” said the Report.

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