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Election Irregularities Meet International Standards

   Canada 2011 – telephone calls that misdirected voters to non-existent polling stations

  1.           USA 2008 – tactics by a group called ACORN may have assisted Obama
  2.           USA 2004 – “hanging chads” issue in the Bush vs. Gore presidential race
  3.           UK 2011 – voters, already queued, prevented from voting
  4.           USA (source: The Columbus Dispatch)
  •           One out of eight vote registrations is inaccurate
  •           1.8 million dead people still on voting list
  •           2.8 million registered in more than one state
  •           24 million registrations have significant errors (approx. 16% of total registered voters)
  •           51 million potential voters  not registered (approx. 35% of total registered voters)

These countries are strong advocates and defenders of the democratic system. But silent on their irregularities, peculiarities, and unethical behavior are the renowned international election observers: UN, OAS, Commonwealth, and The Carter Center.

Hence, it appears that the conduct of Nevis’ election is no different than the electoral conduct of those champions of democracy.

But such failings, locally and internationally, do not mean the behavior has to continue. Systems built by humanity are normally continuously upgrading, that is, in a constant state of work-in-progress, striving to be better. Generally speaking, in a democracy, election and voting systems seem to buck that trend.

Nevis votes twice more than those on the sister isle, a discomfort for the Nevisian voter. But already missing from the early debate are ideas on fixing the mistakes just revealed; already, we seem to be back on the same road of irregularities. Perhaps there are political gains to be made, on both sides, by holding onto irregularities.

Maybe this is truly the time for tiny Nevis to upgrade its electoral system to reflect higher moralistic and ethical behavior, and abandon those weak practices inherited from international standards.

 


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