DH editorial: Better to be sure

That seven of the nine political parties which participated in last Monday’s election have requested a complete recount may be dismissed by some as being sore losers, especially as the two parties in the process of forming a new coalition Government are not among them. However, there are several issues to consider.

For starters, 373 invalid votes seem like quite a lot, although the fact that blank votes were not listed separately may have played a role. Two years ago several of the 303 invalid votes were later declared valid.

If indeed two candidates received zero votes at their own polling station it does raise questions, because most politicians obviously vote for themselves, never mind their families. Certainly the results at these two polls ought to be re-checked.

There was also an apparent major error at polling station number 15, Melford Hazel Sports and Recreational Centre in Sucker Garden, where a turnout of 65 per cent reported after the polls closed suddenly became 84 per cent when the results were announced. Moreover, SDM received 284 votes there while its highest vote count elsewhere had been 35.

A few votes here and there can make quite a difference, such as with the St. Maarten Christian Party (SMPC) that fell 110 votes short of a seat. Were that to change, it would also affect one of the residual seats that went to four parties.

A particular reason one or two votes are so important nowadays is the so-called Lynch Law, whereby the party’s seats go to the highest vote-getters among the candidates. In the past this was based on their number on the list, so that a few personal votes didn’t matter all that much.

It will be up to the Main Voting Bureau how it handles the request, which in any case can’t be ignored, at its meeting today to validate the outcome. The process of a recount might be tedious, but if there is reasonable doubt it’s better to be sure.

Source: Daily Herald
Better to be sure