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Tufton wants changes to ballot casting
2013-02-04 10:07:48 | with audio | (0 Comments)
Opposition Senator Dr. Christopher Tufton wants the electoral laws to be changed to allow voters to make any mark to indicate their selection for a candidate.
Opposition Senator Dr. Christopher Tufton - file
In a motion in the Senate on Friday, Dr. Tufton asked the Upper House to recommend that the Government orders a review of all relevant legislation and regulations dealing with electoral matter for the change to take effect.
Currently, voters are required to mark a clear 'X' with a black lead pencil on ballots to indicate their vote.
Senator Tufton pointed out that if the voter does not follow that strict guideline then it is left up to the discretion of the presiding officer to determine whether to accept the vote.
He is insisting that this is a wrong approach as the will of the voter as well as the outcome of an election may be compromised.
Last April, the Jamaica Labour Party candidate for the New Market Division Ernest Hendricks filed an electoral petition for a magisterial recount after his loss in the Local Government Election.
Hendricks, who had been the councillor since 1998, challenged the election results on the grounds that some of the ballots which were rejected should have been included in the final count.
The ballots were rejected as some had a tick and not the required X.
The New Market Division falls in the JLP’s Area Council Four which is led by Dr. Tufton.
At that time, Dr. Tufton said the intent of the voter should be the most important consideration and ballots should not be discarded once it is clear which candidate the voter preferred.
The People’s National Party’s Cyril Martin retained the seat following the recount.
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Opposition Senator Dr. Christopher Tufton.
Source: The Gleaner/Power 106 News
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