By Aabigayle McIntosh
Ian Hughes, the Supervisor of Elections, expresses optimism regarding the government’s potential consideration of conducting ballot counting directly at individual polling stations, as opposed to the current practice of transporting them to a central location.
The increasing concern revolves around the logistical challenges associated with moving ballot boxes to a centralized counting center, which often results in substantial delays in the official results’ release.
“I am a strong advocate for counting at the Polling Station, I think that Antigua and Barbuda and St Kitts and Nevis are probably the only two countries that continue to count in that manner where the Returning Officer counts some of these ballots until the wee hours of the morning. I think counting at the various Polling Stations will allow for an earlier transmission of the votes for us to know the results earlier,” Hughes said.
This was notably observed during the 2019 Referendum, and addressing this issue will necessitate a re-education effort, a task that the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission is prepared to undertake.
An upcoming by-election is on the horizon to elect a new Parliamentary Representative for the St. Mary’s South Constituency, triggered by the resignation of former United Progressive Party MP, Kelvin “Shugy” Simon.
He will contend against Andrew Antonio from the Democratic National Alliance and Dwayne George from the Antigua Barbuda Labour Party.
Both the ABLP candidate and UPP’s Simon are gearing up for a significant campaign launch this forthcoming weekend.
The announcement of the by-election date is anticipated to be made by the Prime Minister during the ABLP’s rally, preceded by a vibrant red motorcade.”