The Cabinet Office has welcomed the initial findings of the election observation mission conducted by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association British Islands and Mediterranean Region (CPA BIMR).
The independent mission team has published its preliminary statement after observing preparations for the 2021 House of Keys General Election and the proceedings on polling day.
CPA members attended polling stations and count venues across the Island’s 12 constituencies, and gathered evidence from a range of key stakeholders, including deputy returning officers, candidates, voters and election officials.
The preliminary statement said the Isle of Man had ‘delivered a well-administered and competitive election’.
It commented on the successful introduction of the Voting App utilised in the Douglas South constituency. “The project appears to have been a success, based on the Mission’s polling day observations. The system was easy to use for staff and numerous voters attended polling stations that were not their originally designated one. Staff coordinating the technology supporting the online process reported no errors or failures of the system during polling day”.
The Cabinet Office is already carrying out its own analysis of the processes involved in delivering the 2021 General Election, which was the first to be conducted under modernised legislation.
The CPA’s interim findings, together with the recommendations in its final report, will be taken into account as part of this post-election review.
An Isle of Man Electoral Commission will also be appointed for the first time to look at constituency boundaries and other election issues as directed by Tynwald.
Peter Boxer Executive Director of Crown and External Relations said:
‘Ensuring that elections are properly administered is vital in maintaining the public’s confidence in the democratic process and in protecting the Island’s reputation. The independent and expert scrutiny of the CPA provides an opportunity to benchmark our system against international standards and best practice. We welcome the CPA’s preliminary statement and wish to thank all those who contributed to the successful delivery of this year’s election, especially the deputy returning officers and their teams.’
Frank Carolan Head of the Crown and Elections Team at the Cabinet Office added:
‘Overall, we were pleased with how the election process went. We are committed to delivering the best process possible and are aware that there is scope for some improvements in a number of areas. A key focus of our review will be accessibility. We were broadly happy with the venues that we used this year that offered better accessibility and convenience to many voters. There will inevitably be areas where we can continue to improve in this regard to make our elections as open and inclusive as possible.’