PHILIPSBURG–Representatives from seven of the nine political parties have submitted a joint request to the Central Voting Bureau for a recount of all ballots cast in the September 26 Parliamentary Elections.
Should the total recount be granted, the Bureau will have to scrutinize 14,856 ballots of which 14,483 were deemed valid on Election Night and 373 invalid (blank or spoiled). Counting of those ballots had taken some seven hours from the time polls closed at 8:00pm on September 26 to approximately 3:00am on September 27.
Only the National Alliance (NA) and United People’s (UP) party that form the new coalition comprising 10 seats in Parliament are not part of the request for the recount.
Two Democratic Party (DP) candidates Patricia Flanders and Jacqueline Brooks, have asked for a recount in their assigned polling stations. They have cited the impossibility of them receiving zero votes in the districts where they personally cast their ballots.
The request was sent on Friday to the Central Voting Bureau aside of its public sitting today, Monday, in Parliament House, starting at 10:00am, to validate the election results as mandated by law five days after polls are held.
Every voter, by law, can make a request for the Bureau in writing or verbally at session to validate the elections results.
The joint letter on the recount was signed by Members of Parliament Sarah Wescot-Williams (DP leader) whose party received two seats in Parliament and Frans Richardson of United St. Maarten Party with three seats after the results, as well as St. Maarten Christian Party (SMCP) leader Wycliff Smith, One St. Maarten People Party (OSPP) leader Leonard Priest, St. Maarten Development Movement (SDM) leader Benjamin Ortega, Helping Our People Excel (HOPE ) leader Mercedes van der Waals-Wyatt, People’s Progressive Alliance (PPA) representative Don Hughes.
The parties’ representatives stated as reason for the recount request the refusal by polling station staff to allow voters inside the station to observe the proceedings at the closing of polls, the announcement of erroneous ballot numbers, voting cards for deceased persons and a “serious mishap” with the reporting of the results and the use of mobile phones on Election Day.
Source: Daily Herald
Seven of nine parties ask for recount of all ballots