Supervisor of Elections Ian Hughes says the country has outgrown
the old format of counting ballots at a central location after an
election. Accordingly, he will be pushing for a change in the
Based on the current law, ballots from the respective polling
districts are transported to a central location, where the returning
officer is mandated to count the votes in all the boxes within a
But in an interview last month, Hughes said he would prefer to see
ballots counted at the respective polling stations – where persons
actually cast their vote, instead.
Therefore, he will be advocating for the Parliament to make the
legislative adjustments, since this would see election results
returned at a much earlier time than the current norm.
Hughes admits that the current set-up is tedious, since, in some
cases, one person has to count 5,000 ballots – after having
performed earlier duties while the voting was taking place.
The Supervisor says that his proposal can be accomplished. He
recalls that a similar action was taken in 2019, when there was a
referendum to replace the Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of
In that instance, he says, the results were ready by 8 p.m.
He notes, however, that, with a new system, there would have to be
an audit the day after the elections.
Further, Hughes says that with any new system or process, re-
training and re-tooling will be of the utmost importance. Therefore,
those involved in the electoral process would be required to
undergo training if the counting process changes.