Call for review of

Call for review of

Some 678 votes were rejected for reasons including the forms being torn, unsigned or placed in an envelope with other people’s voting papers.

Despite the number of rejected votes dropping from 735 in 2011, Ms Reeve-Fowkes said it was disappointing to see so many wasted votes.

‘Some households put all of their family’s votes into one envelope obviously thinking they were saving postage. Only one of those votes could be counted and the others were declared invalid,’ she said.

‘Also, so many people forgot to sign the back of the envelope, so they couldn’t be checked off the electoral role as having voted.

‘The number of wasted votes was huge and I believe we need better information on how to vote so that so many genuine votes aren’t wasted.’

Acting WAEC commissioner Chris Avent said there would be a review of voting procedures, but not just because of concerns over the high number of rejected votes.

‘As it does after every election, the Commission will review procedures and performance in a bid to further improve electoral practice,’ he said. ‘However, the Commission and returning officers must conduct local government elections in accordance with the Local Government Act and Regulations and changes to these are the prerogative of the Parliament and the Department of Local Government and Communities.

‘To a large degree the wording of forms and the procedures followed are dictated by the Act and Regulations.’