HC Deb 30 January 1957 vol 563 cc189-90W
98 and 99. Miss Lee

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies (1) what percentage of the electorate of British Guiana is illiterate;

(2) why the 1955 election practice in British Guiana of requiring the voter to place his ballot paper into the ballot box displaying the name, photograph and symbol of the person for whom he wishes to vote has been replaced by a system more likely to confuse illiterate voters.

Mr. Profumo

The percentage of illiteracy is estimated at 20 per cent.-25 per cent. of the electorate.

The proposal to discard the 1953 mode of taking ballots is in accordance with the recommendations in the Report of the Constitutional Commission, 1954, which found that there were grave doubts about the secrecy of the ballot conducted under that method.

I cannot agree that the new system, which is in line with common practice in other Caribbean territories, is more likely to confuse illiterate voters.

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