Head of Commonwealth Election Observer Mission to Dominica, Zainab Bangura
Head of the Commonwealth Election Observer Mission, Zainab Bangura, says the mission recognized efforts made by the Electoral Commission to sensitize the public on voting procedures for the 2019 election.
Bangura says, however, that there is still room for improvement.
She announced, “The Electoral Commission generally did well in public education. However, there is need to have targeted public education that takes into account the diversity of Dominican citizens.”
She said that based on the mission’s observations, the education did not touch every demographic of Dominica’s population. She attributes this as the reason for the slow lines at some polling stations, saying that the disabled persons, senior citizens and others who may not have understood everything about the voting process prior to presenting themselves at the polling station, would need to have these explained while in the polling station.
Bangura said, “You need very good voter education to reduce the number of lines, so people go into the poll with a very clear understanding of ‘what I’m going to do, how I’m going to do it, if I need help who should I talk to, as well as even the people who are conducting the elections.
“They should be able to know exactly what are the procedures they need to abide by, and when someone comes with a difficulty how should they respond. So that’s why I say it all helps the process. It does not affect how people vote. It just affects the slowness of the process, how fast the process moves.”
The Organisation of American States Election Observation Mission also commends the Electoral Officers for the level of knowledge displayed by all the persons who worked in polling booths.