A cellular camera ban should be put in place on election day


Host of the weekly radio program "Changes" Mr. Dave Levenstone on Monday evening during his first radio program for 2010 has called on the Chairman of the Main Voting Bureau on Saba to make it possible that persons entering the voting booths on election day do not carry their cellular telephones or cameras with them into the voting booths.

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Levenstone said that he made this call based on the fact that he has been hearing that certain people are already out there receiving financial contributions in order for them to vote for certain politicians under the conditions that they have to take a picture to prove that they have voted for that particular politician. I am aware that on some of the other islands persons entering the voting booth is not allowed to enter with their cellular telephone or camera to avoid this type of behavior. People should be able to go out and vote freely.

Already I have been hearing of some huge amounts of money that will be paid out in this election and being involved in politics in the past on this island I am aware that on polling day there is lots of money being passed around as some people walk around posing with their voters card in exchange for money and this type of behavior has to be stopped. People should not have to receive any gifts whatsoever in order to cast their vote on election day. I will be also forwarding an official letter as a citizen of this Island Territory to the Chairman of the Main Voting Bureau who also happens to be the Lt. Governor and the Local Chief of Police to have this matter carried out in the interest of democracy, Levenstone told his listening audience on Monday evening. On Tuesday several persons approached me and said that they were happy that I was brave enough to bring this matter to the public to avoid people being used. I intend to send a copy of the request to the Minister of General Affairs who is also the Prime Minister of the Netherlands Antilles, to His Excellency the Governor General of the Netherlands Antilles, the Dutch Commissioner for Saba, Bonaire and St. Eustatius and also a copy to the Dutch State Secretary of Kingdom Affairs.

Levenstone went on to state that it is a punishable act for any politician to buy people’s votes and a matter such as that in the event it is tried should be relayed to the competent authorities immediately.