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St. Kitts – Nevis To Confirm Registered Voters

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
April 10, 2008 (CUOPM)

The Supervisor of Elections, Mr. Leroy Benjamin has announced that the mobile confirmation process at various locations in Saint Kitts and Nevis will begin next week.

“The Electoral Office has arranged for persons who registered to vote prior to December 27, 2007 to confirm their registration at various locations within Constituencies throughout the federation. This mobile confirmation process will begin on Monday 14th April, 2008 and end on Saturday 7th June, 2008,” said Mr. Benjamin a statement issued from his office dated April 9th 2008.

The Supervisor of Elections said that the “special arrangement is for persons confirming their registration only.”

“Persons registering to vote for the first time will have to do so at the Electoral Offices at Chapel Street in Charlestown, and at Central Street in Basseterre. The contact number for the Electoral Office in Nevis is 469-5061 and 465-2873 for the St. Kitts Office,” said Mr. Benjamin.

He disclosed that between Monday 14th April and Saturday, 19th April, residents of Saddlers, Harris, Molineux, Phillips, Ottley’s, Lodge Village, Lodge Project and Bouryeux can confirm their registration.

Residents of Saddlers and Harris’ can do so at the Saddlers’ Primary School. Residents of Molineux and Phillips can confirm their registration at the Edgar Gilbert Pavilion. Residents living in Ottley’s, Lodge Project, Lodge Village and Bouryeux will go to the Lodge Community Center to confirm their registration.

Residents of St. Paul’s, Dieppe Bay, Parsons and Upper St. Peter’s can confirm their registration between Monday 21st April and Saturday 26th April.

Residents of St. Paul’s will do so at the St. Paul’s Community Center; residents of Dieppe Bay and Parsons residents at the Dieppe Bay Day Care Center and residents of Upper St. Peter’s at the St. Peter’s Community Center.

All centers will be open for confirmation of registration from 9:00 am to 7:00pm Monday through Friday and on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.

The Supervisor of Elections disclosed that persons confirming their registration will be required to present valid photo identification such as a Passport, a Social Security Card, or a Driver’s License.

He said that persons who do not possess any form of photo identification may use a birth certificate.

“If the name on the Voters List is different from the name on a person’s identification material, a Deed Poll, a Marriage Certificate, or an Affidavit must be presented as evidence of the name change.  Persons may also be asked to present a pay slip or other official document that links them to the name shown on the Voters List,” said the Elections Supervisor.

He said that information about mobile confirmation centers on Nevis will be disclosed at a later date.

The electoral reform process is expected to result in a new Voters List, a national indentification card and the introduction of a photo id when registering for the first time and new regulations governing the process.

In August 2006, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis presented a White Paper in the lawmaking body outlining the process for electoral reform and the preferred steps through which consultation with stakeholders and implementation of electoral reform will result in a legally reformed electoral system.

The White Paper noted that through proper consultation with all social groups, political parties, and the general public, the Government will ensure that these reforms guarantee that future elections in St. Kitts and Nevis continue to be free and fair and in keeping the democratic and constitutional rights, these reforms will not disenfranchise any voter as the reforms seek to introduce a modern and efficient electoral system.

Government had reviewed the report of the “˜Commonwealth Expert Team’ on the general elections of 2004, the Report of the “˜CARICOM Observers’ of the general elections of 2004, and the Report of the “˜Commonwealth Assessment Mission’ of 2005, and based on the commitment given in the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party 2000 Election manifesto, pursued the proposed reforms, leading to the modernisation of the electoral process.

Several committees were established and a comprehensive national consultation was put in motion.

The Electoral Reform Consultative Committee (ERCC) conducted national consultations with all stakeholders around St. Kitts and Nevis and with nationals residing in Anguilla, St. Maarten/St. Martin, the United States Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom about the proposed new electoral framework and sent its report directly to the National Advisory Electoral Reform and Boundaries Committee (NAERBC), which after extensive discussions sent its own report to the Parliamentary Constitutional & Electoral Reform and Boundaries Committee, which is a National Assembly Sub-Committee.

After considering the report from the Electoral Reform and Boundaries Committee, the Report was sent to the Attorney General’s Chamber for forwarding to a drafting expert in Barbados.

Since the passage of the National Assembly Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2007, which has had public scrutiny, several amendments have been made.

There was no public discussion by the then People’s Action Movement (PAM) of former Prime Minister Dr. the Right Hon. Kennedy Simmonds when electoral reform was undertaken in 1984.

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