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Jersey's electoral system described as 'over complicated'

Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/PA Images

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) has written a report on the 'over complicated' nature of Jersey's electoral system.

The Election Observation Mission also said that the number of uncontested ballots undermines the principle that elections are fully genuine.

Although such instances are permissible in democratic societies, the provision allowing candidates to stand and be elected unopposed has reduced the competitiveness of the election.

– Election Observation Mission Report

They also said the same for the disparity in equality of voting across districts and low voter turnout across the Island.

The CPA which speaks out for parliamentary democracies across the Commonwealth, were based in Jersey from 5th until 18th May to make a full assessment of the electoral system.

On top of its recommendations for change, it did praise aspects of Jersey's system, especially the work of volunteers on election day.

This is also the case with the Honorary Police that assumes an active role by providing security on election day. The commitment and willingness to support the electoral process in this manner is highly commendable.

– Election Observation Mission Report

The report also raised concerns about the huge differences in electoral boundaries of the Island's parishes which it says challenges the principle of equal suffrage.

It quotes the substantial difference in population size of St Helier with over 33,000 people compared with St Mary with just over 1,700.

Such a huge difference it says is 'at odds with the obligations of the States of Jersey under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.'

However the report did praise the video recording of all the hustings which were made available online at vote.jeas well as candidate's manifestos.

Despite this though, the report said that many voters still expressed a lack of understanding of what candidates stood for.

It commended the States Greffe for the 'considerable effort' made to reach out to the Portuguese and Polish communities, encouraging them to vote.

A final report will be produced by the CPA in July.

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