BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - THE people of St. Kitts and Nevis took to the polls today (Aug. 5) to elect a new government, but from all indications the turnout may be lower than usual at Federal Elections.
With Federal Elections being called just two years after the previous one, an early look at some polling stations showed long lines, while at a number of others there were a few persons.
A similar report had emerged from Nevis, indicate that it might be a low turn out as well.
St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) candidate for Constituency Five, Kenny Douglas charged that the voting population might have been dissuaded by the way the incumbent administration triggered the elections after its dramatic collapse with the termination of six Cabinet members and the subsequent dissolution of the National Assembly.
“It was smooth in most areas. What I believe is that the voter turnout is not as much as the last time for how it was in 2020 - I think it is too low,” noted Douglas.
The uncertainty of who to vote for during the elections and the way some of the campaigns and the saturation of the returning to the polls two after the last General Elections were conducted are suspected of being factors in the low turnout early in the day.
But the incumbent Prime Minister, Dr. Timothy Harris, in passing through several of the Constituencies, noted that the voting process went well for him and that he was pleased with the way the agents conducted the process.
SKNLP’s Leader and Prime Ministerial Candidate, Dr. Terrance Drew also commended this year’s process, noting that it went smoothly in box 5B at the St. Peter’s Primary School.
“We are happy that the electoral process is working for democracy in a very strong way, and that people are participating in a rich democratic tradition in St. Kitts and Nevis.”
Like many, the medical practitioner believes that the time has come for the process of how elections are conducted should be modernized.
“I support using the technology that is available in our electoral process, so I look forward to incorporating that. There are a number of electoral laws that need to change which we will also propose to change,” he added.
Currently, the people of St. Kitts and Nevis as well as in several other territories around the region use paper ballots, which take some time to get printed and counted.
All the candidates who spoke with SKNVibes News confirmed that their processes went well and they commended the polling agents for their efforts.
Polls close at 6:00 p.m. and counting will start short thereafter when all the boxes reach the official place of counting.
That process takes some time and the full results could be announced as early as in the wee hours of tomorrow.