KINGSTON — The Electronic Identification of the Voter and Ballot Issuing System (EIVBIS), will be used in eight constituencies in the general elections on Thursday, December 29.
It will be used fully in the constituencies of St. Catherine Eastern, St. Andrew West Central, St. Andrew South East, St. Andrew Eastern, Kingston Central, and
St. Andrew Western, and partially in St. Andrew North West and St. Andrew North Central.
Speaking in a national broadcast on December 27, Chairman of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica, Professor Errol Miller, informed that the EIVBIS identifies the elector electronically and issues the ballot to the elector.
"The Electoral Office has carried out several simulation exercises in these constituencies to allow voters to become familiar with the system and to work out all the logistical and technical issues,” Professor Miller said.
“Do not be mistaken. This is not an Electronic Voting System as some say. It is an electronic identification and ballot issuing system. The ballots issued by this system are exactly like the ballots issued manually and are marked, counted and recounted, just like all other ballots,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Chairman said that some persons still remember malpractices of the past and assume that these practices continue.
"Accordingly, the fears of the past have been translated into very pessimistic and even alarming expectations of what will happen on Election Day. Our advice is to dismiss these fears. Leave memories of malpractices behind in history where they belong. Come into the present where elections are conducted impartially and according to law," Professor Miller said.
He emphasised that for persons who may attempt to engage in illegal or corrupt practices on Election Day, the full force of the law will be enforced.
"Let there be no doubt whatsoever. The laws are clear. Elections must not take place in circumstances of riot, civil disturbance and open violence. Candidates must not win elections by fraud, violence or intimidation. The electoral laws will be enforced without fear or favour. Energies and efforts devoted to corrupt and illegal activities will be futile and bring nothing but grief to those involved," Professor Miller warned.
The total number of electors on the voters’ list as at November 30, 2011, was 1,648,036. Some 41,607 electors were added to the list, while 5,636 were deleted. The total number of electors on the previous voters’ list (May 31, 2011), was 1,612,065.
By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter