Vanuatu’s state broadcaster live-streamed its election count. Per Radio New Zealand:
The decision to live stream the counting was a unique one, made in an election that has already been tripped by storms, death and the global coronavirus pandemic.
The country went to the polls on 19 March, in some northern islands, this was extended to 20 March, as bad weather prevented ballot boxes from reaching some islands. In this vast country of about 80 islands spread across 1,300km of ocean, they then all had to make their way back.
Last week the country’s electoral commissioner, Martin Tete, died of natural causes in what had been described as an incalculable loss for Vanuatu.
The loss of Mr Tete was also a hurdle for the Electoral Office. Not only had they lost an esteemed colleague, by law, counting was not possible until a new commissioner was appointed.
By the time a new appointee was in place, the government had declared an emergency over covid-19 and restricted meetings to no more than five people.
Elections in Vanuatu are via single non-transferable vote (SNTV), so they are always of interest to me. I have even used data from Vanuatu in published research:
Matthew E. Bergman, Matthew S. Shugart and Kevin A. Watt, “Patterns of Intra-Party Competition in Open-List and SNTV Systems.” Electoral Studies 32, 2 (June, 2013): 321–33; published online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.electstud.2013.01.004.
And for one chapter in Votes from Seats.