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ECJ acknowledges that online voting could be tested locally

Thursday, April 26, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) says its commissioners have acknowledged that online voting technology could be tested in localised institutional elections as a means of familiarising individuals with the process and developing trust.

The response followed suggestions made by President of the People’s National Party Youth Organisation (PNPYO), Krystal Tomlinson, who recently presented global models for online voting and recommended several changes for the ECJ to implement locally.

ECJ said Tomlinson was invited to make the presentation on April 18 to commissioners and senior managers at the organisation.

According to the commission, she recommended online voting at the national level as a strategy to woo youth voters who are disengaged from the voting process.

The PNPYO president, in her presentation to the ECJ, identified challenges to online voting, primarily the capital investment needed, overcoming electors’ trust of a digital system and persuading people to switch from the traditional form of voting to accepting voting by digital means.

ECJ said the commissioners were quite receptive to the suggestions.

Tomlinson’s suggestions come on the heels of a call she made last month for discussions centred on the possibility of online voting in national elections.

However, Prime Minister Andrew Holness, during a sitting of Parliament on March 20, said he found the call interesting since her party has “stoutly rejected the very means by which this kind of e-governance would be possible – the National Identification System”.

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