(CMR) Anyone unable to physically be at the polling station on December 19 for the port referendum should know that they have options.
The Elections Office has confirmed that it is already accepting applications from registered voters for both postal ballots and mobile voting for people who will not be able to attend the polls in person on Referendum Day. Since the government has selected 19 December for the historic people’s vote on whether or not it should press ahead with the cruise berthing project, it is anticipated that many voters will be away or working and will need to vote early or by mail.
Elections Supervisor Wesley Howell said that postal ballots will not begin to be sent out until after the Referendum Bill is passed in the Legislative Assembly. He explained that the bill needs to be assented to and gazetted into law, when the referendum date is formally published, before that can happen.
While the government published the bill last week, starting the 21-day countdown, a date for the legislation to be put before parliament has not yet been set.
According to the Elections Office website, postal voting is available to voters who will be, or likely to be, off-island on Referendum Polling Day. Applicants will need to complete Form B application, which can be downloaded on the website, or collected from the Elections Office. The application can be submitted via email or hand-delivered to the Elections Office at, 150 Smith Road Centre, 2nd Floor, George Town.
After the referendum date is formally announced, the returning officer for the respective electoral district will send the ballot paper documents to the address provided on the form. Applications will be disregarded if received by the office less than 12 days before Referendum Day.
Voters who will be working or who cannot physically make it to the polls on Referendum Day can apply for mobile voting using Form C. Elections Office polling staff will visit you in person, or you will be able to vote before polling day at an early voting station. The days for mobile and early voting will be published nearer to Referendum Day, officials said.