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Jersey Chamber of Commerce

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Category: Local Business News  States of Jersey

Election Observers Welcome Jersey's Successful Election and a More Diverse Assembly

Jun 27, 2022

International election observers have found that the Jersey General Election 2022 broadly met international standards. Following an invitation by the Privileges and Procedures Committee of the States Assembly, the CPA BIMR deployed a team of nine international observers to observe the general election. It is the second time that CPA BIMR has been invited to observe a general election in Jersey following recommendations made by CPA BIMR observers in 2018.

On Election Day, the international observers visited all 19 polling stations across the 9 newly introduced constituencies and observed the vote count of eight polling stations. Despite recent electoral reform, procedures were generally followed across the island’s polling stations. Polling station staff worked in a professional and efficient manner to ensure a smooth process throughout election day. 

The observers also identified areas for improvement, including inaccuracies in the voter register. Several instances were observed where voters arrived to find they had been de-activated from the register and did not know about it, or because of what the law describes as “administrative errors”. In constituencies where borders had changed, or where a new polling station had been created, the Mission observed voters turning up at the wrong polling station and being sent to another polling station to vote. 

Since 2018, the boundaries of electoral districts for Deputies have been redrawn to ensure electors had more equal voting power. The new boundaries for Deputy elections respect international good practice as articulated by the Venice Commission. However, margins are exceeded when the ratio of electors to elected representatives includes both Deputies and Connétables, as the new boundaries only pertain to the Deputy elections, whilst Connétables continue to be elected from the 12 Parishes. 

The number of uncontested seats reduced from 14 in 2018 (28%) to 8 in 2022 (16%). However, all of the uncontested seats were for the Connétables position, with 8 out of 12 Connétables elected unopposed (67%). In these elections, a new “None of the Candidates” option was available to voters on the ballot paper, but this did not get a majority in any Parish. 

Jersey elected a historic number of women Deputies in this election (51%). The gains in women Deputies being elected were achieved despite the absence of special measures to address the historical disparity in representation. However, only 2 out of 12 Connétables elected were women (17%). In addition, the candidates continued to lack ethnic diversity. This election did see the first black Deputy and first Romanian Deputy elected. 

The Head of Mission, Martin Whitfield MSP from Scotland, said: “The 2022 election was delivered in a calm and professional manner, with clear efforts to provide a positive experience for the voters of Jersey. Several areas for improvement remain, including inaccuracies in the voter register. I would like to thank the stakeholders we met for their candour and honesty during a busy time, and the people of Jersey for their kind welcome.”  

The observers will produce a final report by the end of August which will include recommendations on how the electoral process could be improved for future elections. 

CPA UK Press Release.

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