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Islanders to be able to vote for 'none of the above'

Islanders to be able to vote for 'none of the above'

Friday 23 July 2021

Islanders to be able to vote for 'none of the above'


The States Assembly has approved a new system which will mean that a ‘none of the above’ option will be included on ballot papers in future elections.

The option will only be available in elections where there are either equal or fewer candidates than there are vacant positions, to "ensure there are no longer uncontested elections."

The idea of a ‘none of the above’ option was first voted in as part of “historic” reforms to the electoral system that were voted in last December - however, this new vote solidifies the way the system will work.

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Pictured: The idea was initially put forward by Constable Karen Shenton-Stone.

It was initially proposed by Constable Karen Shenton-Stone, who said at the time that it would be a good way of tackling the issue of uncontested elections.

“I am of the belief that a mechanism should be included in our voting system to ensure that Islanders have the final say in any election, regardless of how many candidates there are, and not allow the final outcome elections to be decided when nominations close,” she said. 

She added it would help the Assembly “more clearly understand the levels of frustration voters may have.” 

As part of the Privileges and Procedure Committee’s proposed legislative changes, the Committee has now put in place an option to extend the nomination period by two days should there be insufficient candidates to fill vacancies.

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Pictured: If there are less or equal candidates to the vacancies in a parish, then the 'None of the Above' option will be added to ballots.

However, if this lack of candidates remains, the vote will then go ahead with the ‘None of the Above’ option included as part of the ballot. 

If this option wins out, then a further election will be held until a candidate is elected, with casual vacancy/by-election provisions in place during the interim. 

The proposal states that it will “allow voters to express their opinion without having to ‘spoil’ their vote and, if sufficient people share that opinion and NOTA tops the poll, there will be a definite outcome achieved in that a further election will be required.”

The PPC’s draft legislative changes also included creation of a Jersey Electoral Authority and making postal voting available to all islanders whether on or off-Island.

The proposition was voted for by 44 members of the Assembly, with two votes against and two absent.

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