Former Supervisor of Elections says she believes it was her exclusive and sole responsibility to ensure that the ballot boxes used in North Windward in the 2015 election complied with the election law.
She made the statement as she was being cross examined last week in the North hearing of the Windward election petition.
During the cross examination, Keith Scotland, lead counsel for the petitioner, Lauron “Sharer” Baptiste, noted that Findlay-Scrub had given a description of the ballot boxes.
Asked if she would agree that whatever boxes are used would have keys and the plastic boxes did not have keys, Findlay-Scrubb said:
“They didn’t have keys.”
“And are therefore not in compliance with the RPA,” Scotland said, referring to the Representations of the People Act, which governs how elections in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are to be conducted.
However, Senior Counsel Douglas Mendes, lead lawyer for the government in the case, said that is a matter for the court to determine.
But Scotland said that before the court could make a finding of law, there must be a “substrate of facts”.
Acting High Court judge, Justice Stanley John said the question of whether the ballot boxes were in compliance with the law is a matter for the court to determine.
Scotland, however, protested, saying that with a “normal” witness he would say that is the case, but noted that Findlay-Scrubb is the supervisor of elections and in charge of ensuring that the boxes were in compliance with the law.
But the court maintained that Findlay-Scrubb is not allowed to say whether the plastic boxes complied with the RPA.
Justice John said Findlay-Scrubb could answer questions of whether the boxes had plastic ties, or didn’t have keys or lock. He said that whether those facts constitute an infringement of the RPA is a matter for the court.
Scotland then asked Findlay-Scrubb if the responsibility “for ensuring boxes were sibling to RPA” was her responsibility in 2015.
She said she was not sure that she understood the question.
“The responsibility that the ballot boxes provided in NW 1 were in compliance with RPA, that was your exclusive and sole responsibility,” Scotland then said.
Findlay-Scrubb responded: “I believe it was.”
Earlier in the trial, the former elections chief said that while plastic ballot boxes have been used since 2009, the election law intended for wooden boxes that must be opened with a key.
A ruling in the case is slated for March 21.