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USVI group protests electronic voting machines

USVI group protests electronic voting machines

A group of activists protested the use of electronic voting machines during Saturday's primary in this U.S. Caribbean territory, demanding paper ballots despite officials' assurances that there have been no reports of problems with the devices.
The protesters, who numbered in the dozens, were denied provisional ballots because electoral rules say they can be used only by registered voters who show up at the correct polling place but whose names do not appear on the list.
Everyone else is required to use the machines, said Mabel Maduro, deputy elections supervisor in St. Thomas.
Several of the activists refused to leave the polls in protest, including Julein Hansen, 43, of St. Croix, who complained that when she tried to vote, the machine did not work properly.
"When you press No. 2, the No. 1 lights up for the present governor," Hansen said, adding that she refused to try the machine again as suggested.
Of the nearly one dozen voters interviewed Saturday by The Associated Press, Hansen was the only one to report a malfunction.
Hansen is a member of a group that filed two complaints seeking to use paper ballots because they fear the machines are unreliable. The complaints were dismissed by a judge earlier this year.
Corinne Plaskett, deputy elections supervisor in St. Croix, said she was not aware of Hansen's case and there had been no reports of problems in Saturday's voting.
"We have been well in touch with judges," she said. "We have not received any calls or complaints."
Election officials say the electronic machines replaced paper ballots nearly two decades ago and there have been no serious issues.
The primary was held to choose candidates for governor and the senate ahead of Nov. 2 general elections.


Updated : 2021-03-09 02:22 GMT+08:00