By Betty Combie, QualityManagement Consultant
WE came out in the rain. Some of us stood in the rain while we waited to enter the polling booth. We were a people determined to exercise our constitutional right. Yet for over 2000 of us, it was a complete waste of time.
It happened again, and it was worse in 2016 than in 2011. According to the numbers presented on the Saint Lucia Electoral Office website, in 2016 there was a total of 2223 rejected ballots ranging from 40 to three hundred and ten (310) per polling centre. In 2011, there were 2176, rejected ballots ranging from 303 per polling centre.
It is in the interest of ALL political parties to advocate for the Electoral Office to adequately address the issue of rejected ballots.
I propose that many voters do not know what constitutes a rejected ballot. Hence addressing this issue should begin there. The electoral office must include a demonstration of rejected ballots in their public sensitisations leading up to any election. I would like to suggest that a sample of varying rejected ballots from the 2016 elections be scanned and saved to show as examples for the next election. In a mode of continuous improvement, over 2000 rejected ballots must not be allowed to happen again.