ECJ pilots e-poll book at UWI elections

Thursday, March 21, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) says it conducted a pilot of the electronic poll book at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Guild of Students elections which were held yesterday.

The ECJ said the e-poll book on iPad devices, referred to as a "Poll Pad" was used in place of the traditional paper-based documents to electronically identify, verify and check off voters in the polling stations during the election.

The commission said the technology used in the pilot in Jamaica is provided and supported by KNOWiNK, a United States based team of election experts that assists jurisdictions to modernise elections with best-in-class technology.

Jamaica is the first country in the Caribbean to test the Poll Pad according to KNOWiNK representatives, the ECJ said.

With this new technology, electoral officials are able to readily provide relevant, accurate and timely statistics on voter turnout, including demographic information about electors. Therefore the ECJ is able to identify not only the number of people who voted in the election, but also ascertain a profile of the voters.

During the UWI elections, officials were able to monitor real time updates of the voter turnout as the day progressed.

“The e-poll book system is described as faster and more efficient that the traditional paper-based model, with electors at the UWI being processed in 51 seconds on average.”

The ECJ said it already administers electronic ballot counting at UWI and University of Technology Guild Elections with the use of Automated Tabulators.

This it said has led to a significantly quicker turnaround time for election results through scanning of ballots and electronically tallying the votes.

The automated counting system was piloted several years ago and has been used in a number of elections for local institutions.


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