A delegation from the Virgin Islands visited Anguilla from October 7 - 10 to assist with that Territory’s election preparation, including a mock election exercise.
The delegation led by Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Mrs. Carolyn Stoutt-Igwe was invited to Anguilla by that Territory’s Supervisor of Elections, Ms. Arjul Wilson because of their experience in overseeing elections in the Virgin Islands.
The team also included Supervisor of Elections, Ms. Juliette Penn and Elections Planning and Quality Officer, Mr. Hewlette Ford. The team observed the mock elections on October 8 and 9 for the election workers and public that saw more than 336 persons voting. Following the conclusion of the mock elections process, the delegation offered support and feedback to Anguilla’s Supervisor of Elections.
Mrs. Stoutt-Igwe said the BVI team was happy to assist, especially in light of the fact that Anguilla will be implementing some new measures for their 2020 General Elections.
“I was pleased that the Virgin Islands were able to offer support to our fellow Overseas Territory, Anguilla, ahead of its General Elections. Having experienced a number of changes during our recently concluded elections here in the Territory, I understand the mammoth task that they are trying to complete at this time and I was indeed grateful to offer any assistance that would positively impact their transition into the new system,” Mrs. Stoutt-Igwe stated.
The Permanent Secretary also expressed her satisfaction with the number of persons who obtained their voter registration cards and the overall enthusiasm displayed by the voters at the mock elections when they came to vote.
Supervisor of Elections, Ms. Juliette Penn said her greatest satisfaction was seeing the eagerness displayed by the Government and the public to enhance the elections process.
Ms. Penn noted that the seriousness and the professionalism displayed throughout the mock election were remarkable, and that there are a few aspects that the BVI can integrate into its own elections process that would enhance overall operations. She also commended the Supervisor and staff of the Elections Office of Anguilla for the efficient manner in which the exercise was conducted.
During the visit, the BVI delegation also paid courtesy calls on His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Tim Foy; Deputy Governor, Mr. Perin Bradley; and Premier, Honourable Victor Banks. On the invitation of Premier Banks, Mrs. Stoutt-Igwe and Ms. Penn, along with Mr. Willie Wesley of Electronic Systems Software (ESS) made presentations at the Anguilla House of Assembly on October 8 about the Territory’s experience with the electronic tabulating system.
They also participated in radio interviews on Radio Anguilla and a press conference following the conclusion of the mock elections. Mr. Ford held discussions with Information Technology (IT) officials on their roles with the creation of the identification cards and the scanning system for the cards.
This trip was sponsored by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office through the Governor’s Office in Anguilla.
The Office of the Supervisor of Elections is a member of the Governor's Group and a unit that functions under the umbrella of the Deputy Governor's Office whose mission is to serve the office with integrity, general direction and supervision over the registration of voters, the administrative conduct of free and fair elections in the Virgin Islands.
Photo 1 – Photo with Premier (left to right) – Aurjul Wilson, Carolyn Stoutt Igwe, Anguilla Premier Honourable Victor Banks, Hewlette Ford, Willie Wesley Jr.
Photo 2 – Officials at the Central Electoral Office. Front (left to right): Sheri Menges; Hewlette Ford; Tamara Richardson; Aurjul Wilson; Juliette Penn. Back (left to right): Willie Wesley, Jr.; Carolyn Stoutt Igwe; Jason Rogers