Published On: Tue, Oct 4th, 2016

Seven parties request total vote recount

GREAT BAY – The Democratic Party, the United St. Maarten party and the five parties that did not win a seat in last week’s elections have petitioned the Central Voting Bureau with a request for a total recount of the ballots of all polling stations. The Central Voting Bureau meets this morning at 10 a.m.

The seven political parties motivate their request with eight arguments. The first one being that voters “were not allowed to be present in several of the voting stations, thereby obstructing their right to voice objections.” In one particular voting station, the parties write in a letter to Jason Rogers, the chairman of the central voting bureau, “The voting was halted for a brief period of time, without the mandatory notification to the minister of general affairs.”

During the counting, voters were kept “too far to see the declared invalid votes.”

An obvious mistake in the count at one district has not been rectified, the parties furthermore argue.

“At one polling station, having observed a voter using his telephone, the chairperson asked that the picture of the ballot be deleted from the person’s phone, while having a phone was prohibited,” goes the fifth argument.

The parties furthermore report “persistent claims of persons who received more than one voting card at different addressed and at the same address.”

Another claim is that citizens who had passed away also received a voting card. Lastly, the parties state in their request, “numerous voters have reported about not being allowed to review the bins at the opening of the voting stations.”

The request is signed by Wycliffe Smith (St. Maarten Christian Party), Sarah Wescot-Williams (Democratic Party), Frans Richardson (United St. Maarten party), Lenny Priest (One St. Maarten People Party), Mercedes van der Waals-Wyatt (Helping Our People Excel – Hope), Benjamin Ortega (St. Maarten Development Movement) and Donald Hughes (People’s Progressive Alliance). The name of PPA-leader Gracita Arrindell appears on the letter, but her signature is missing.


Photo caption: Members of the Main Voting Bureau begin with the opening of the sealed suitcases of ballots. Photo Today / Hilbert Haar