MARIGOT:— Voters on St. Martin will be heading to the 19 polling stations today Sunday, March 19 to vote in the first round of the Territorial Council elections. Contesting the 2017 elections which start today Sunday, March 19 are eight political parties. Polling stations opened at 8am to 6pm.
SMN News encourages all registered voters to cast their votes in order to choose a team of people that they believe could lead for the next term. The results of the election will be live streamed here directly from the Collectivity of St. Martin as of 4 pm this evening. As of 11am the estimated amount of votes cast were 2332 out of the 20276 inscribed voters.
12 noon 3480 voters cast their votes 17.3% participation so far.
INCIDENTS AND COMPLAINTS OF NON-TRANSPARENCY.
While the voter’s turnout so far seems to be a bit low, this trend may change during the course of the day, however, at polling station number 12, there were some incidents one being a voter who was supposed to vote at polling station number 18 was allowed to vote at polling station 12 simply because the chairman of that polling station did not look at the polling station in which the person was supposed to vote. According to other members working at the polling station, the incident was discovered after the voter signed in the place of another registered voter. As soon as this was discovered, the elections bureau of the Collectivity was called in and a process verbal for the incident was made up in order to block the same person from voting twice, meaning she could not go over to polling station number 18 and cast a second vote.
Persons that are manning polling station number 18 finds that the process being used at polling station number 12 are not legal and transparent, they claim that voters are allowed to take one ballot instead of all 8 ballots prior to entering the booth, another complaint mentioned was the chairman of that polling station was not telling the voters how and what they needed to do while he is the one giving voters the envelopes which they believed have to placed next to the ballots. SMN News visited all polling stations and its clear that each polling station is set up differently.
Besides that SMN News learned that there are several discrepancies on the voting lists, one being that the general voting registration does not correspond with the lists of some polling stations, especially with the numbering.
Source: St. Martin News Network
ELECTION WATCH 2017: Territorial Council Election of Saint Martin. (UPDATED)