Eligible registered voters in Nevis will be going to the polls tomorrow (December 18) to participate in the local elections. This exercise is a constitutional and sacred right. It is one of the hallmarks of a democracy. As civic-minded citizens and residents participate in the exercise tomorrow, the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force is calling for an orderly and peaceful Election Day. More importantly, we are urging all candidates, voters and party supporters to act responsibly.
The High Command of the police force thought it was prudent to meet with party leaders, candidates and other officials of both political parties, and did so on Thursday, December 14. The High Command have urged them to encourage their supporters to be responsible and keep calm. The High Command also met, on that day, with officers from Division ‘C’ (Nevis Division) to ensure that they were aware of their duties, roles and responsibilities on Election Day.
I have been duly advised that the 34 polling stations in Nevis will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 .p.m. The Police will be providing assistance and support to the Supervisor of Elections and his team to the extent that the law allows. Here are some polling instructions and election offences you should be aware of on Monday:
Persons who can legally be in Polling Stations
1. Presiding Officer
2. Supervisor of Elections
3. Returning Officer
4. Polling Clerk
5. The Candidates
6. One Agent for each Candidate
7. Police Officer on Duty
8. Members of the Electoral Commission
9. Official Observers
Note: No Candidate and Agent shall be in the same Polling Station at the same time for more than five (5) consecutive minutes.
1. No person shall assemble within 100 yards of any Polling Station, except persons waiting to vote.
2. Intoxicating Liquor: No liquor shall be sold, offered for sale or given away at any premises situated in any constituency in which an election is being held to which a Licence issued under the Liquor Licence Act. Cap 18.21 applies, at any time between the opening and closing of the poll on polling day.
(Section 101(1) of The Constitution and Election Ordinance, Chapter 2.01).
3. Loud Speakers, Banners, Flags, Ribbons: No person shall furnish or supply any loud speaker, bunting, ensign, banner, standard or set of colours, or any other flags, to any person with intent that it shall be carried, worn or used on motor cars, trucks or other vehicles, as political propaganda, on polling day and no person shall, with any such intent, carry, wear or use, on motor cars, trucks or other vehicles, any such loud speaker, bunting, ensign, banner, standard set of colours, or any other flags, on Polling day.
(Sec 104 of The Constitution and Election Ordinance Chap 2.01).
4. Bribery: Every person who, directly or indirectly, by himself or herself or by any other person on his or her behalf, gives, lends or agrees to give or lend, or offers, promises or promises to procure and money or valuable consideration to or for any voter, or to or for any person on behalf of any voter, or to or for any other person in order to induce any voter to vote or refrain from voting, or corruptly does any such act as aforesaid on account of any voter having voted or refrained from voting in any election.
(Section 105 (1) (a) of The Constitution and Election Ordinance, Chapter 2.01).
5. Undue Influence: Every person who, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, makes use of or threatens to make use of any force, violence, or restraint, or inflicts or threatens to inflict, by himself or herself or by any other person any temporal or spiritual injury, damage, harm or loss upon or against any person in order to induce or compel such person to vote or refrained from voting at any election, or who by abduction, duress or any fraudulent contrivance, impedes or prevents the free exercise of the franchise of any voter, or thereby compels, induces or prevails upon any voter either to give or refrain from giving his or her vote at any election, commits the offence of undue influence within the meaning of this act.
(Section 107 of The Constitution and Election Ordinance, Chapter 2.01).
The Police will also be out and about at the various polling stations to further ensure your safety. I trust that the people of Nevis will continue to uphold the law and abide by the electoral regulations, and I would like to use this opportunity to remind you that the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force is here to serve without fear or favour regardless the administration.