MyBelize.Net to Cover 2015 General Elections

November 02 14:00 2015 Print This Article

As we near the 2015 General Elections, MyBelize.Net would like to inform it’s loyal readers that we will once again be hosting the results of the elections on our website.  Results will be posted as soon as the ballots have all been counted on November 4, 2015.

In light of this, we’d like to enlighten our readers with some invaluable information regarding elections in Belize courtesy of the Elections and Boundaries Department:

  1. Why register to vote?
    There are 31 electoral divisions, 7 towns, 2 cities, 191 villages and communities.
    Only registered voters have the right to elect Political Leaders at the National and Municipal level.
  2. What are the laws pertaining to voter registration? The Representation of the People Registration Rules, Chapter 9.
  3. Who is eligible to register to vote?
    Every person who is:

    • 18 years or over
    • A citizen of:
      – Belize
      – Any Commonwealth Country who has resided in Belize for not less than 12 months
      – Any Commonwealth Country who is domiciled in Belize, AND
    • Resident in the electoral division not less than 2 months
  4. Where to register?
    Visit the Registration Office of Elections and Boundaries Department in your Area. Thirteen District Offices countrywide are manned by Registration Officers.
  5. How do you become registered?
    • Make a personal application
      • Take proof of eligibility to the Registration Office in your area-
        – Birth Certificate
        – Passport
        – Naturalization Certificate
      • Fill out and sign Application Form and Record Card
      • Take a photograph for the ID Card and the Record Card
    • An Investigation is carried out by Registration Officers to verify residence and other particulars.
    • A temporary list of applicants called “Supplementary List” is prepared by the Registering Officer for public scrutiny from 15th to the 25th of the month. These are posted at all Registration Offices.
    • If there are objections during the 15th to the 25th, the following is completed before proceeding to Revision Court:
      – The persons objected to, are informed by registered mail
      – The names of the persons objected to, are published in one newspaper and the Gazette
    • The Revising Officer in a Revision Court approves the Supplementary List at the end of each month.
    • A Revised List is prepared. Only those on the Revised List become Registered Electors. The Revision Court is the sole authority to decide who will remain on the monthly Revised List.
    • ID Cards are issued to those on the Revised List approximately one week after the Revision Court.
  6. What is the Cycle for Voter Registration?
    The process of registration is continuous and it is conducted every working day. The process for a month is closed on the 10th in order to prepare the Temporary or Supplementary List for the 15th as required by law.The Monthly Cycle is from the 11th of one month to the 10th of the other, for example:August – 11th of July to the 10th of August
    July – 11th of June to the 10th of July- If a person applies on or before the 10th June, the process will be completed with June’s Revision Court at the end of June.
    – If a person applies on the 11th of June or later, the process will be completed with July’s Revision Court at the end of July.A Revised List is posted in all Registration Offices on or before the 5th of the month or immediately after Revision Court. Copies of all monthly transactions are shared with the two major Political Parties.
  7. What is a rejected ballot?
    A rejected ballot is a void vote, or a bad vote. It is declared void by the Returning Officer in the Counting Station. A rejected vote is not a part of the votes counted for each candidate.
  8. What reasons are there to reject a ballot?
    There are five (5) reasons as follows:- The ballot paper does not have the Presiding Officer’s initials on the back of it
    – The elector votes for more candidates than seats
    – The ballot paper is not marked for any candidate
    – The ballot paper contains any mark or writing that can identify the elector
    – The ballot paper is unmarked or void for uncertainty
  9. What is a Spoilt Ballot?
    A spoilt ballot is a cancelled ballot. The cancellation is done by the Presiding Officer in the Polling Station. A spoilt ballot does not make it into the ballot box and does not become a vote.
  10. What are electoral offenses?
    Under the Representation of the People Act, the following are considered offenses:

    • Alternation of Voter ID Card: Any person, who without lawful authority forges, destroys, mutilates, defaces, removes or make alternation on a Voter Identification Card is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) or to imprisonment not exceeding one year or both.
    • Double Registration or Seeking Registration More Than Once: Any registered elector who applies for registration in any division and fails to disclose the fact of being already registered as an elector shall be guilty of an offense and on summary conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) or to imprisonment not exceeding six months or both.
    • False Statement: Any person knowingly makes false statement to register as an elector shall be guilty of an offence and on summary conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) or to imprisonment not exceeding two (2) years.
  11. What are the rules on a change/transfer period of Electoral Division?
    Two months are set aside each year by Law for the transfer of electors from one Electoral Division to another. These two months are JULY AND AUGUST. Application for a change of Electoral Division from one Electoral Division to another are done using Form No. 17. These applications are processed during normal working hours at any of the District Offices during the Period: JULY 1 TO AUGUST 31 OF EACH YEAR.Requirements to change from one electoral division to another are:
    – Be a Registered voter
    – Reside at the new address for not less than two (2) months
    – Present your Voters ID at the time of application or any other picture Identification;   e.g. Passport, Social Security or Driver’s License
    – And “a utility bill” in the elector’s name to assist the officers in the verification of the address given.

Feel free to review the entire Election Process courtesy the Election and Boundaries Department.

PLEASE REMEMBER: WHEN HEADING TO THE POLLS ON NOVEMBER 4, 2015, REMEMBER TO TAKE ALONG YOUR VOTER’S ID CARD!

Stay in touch with MyBelize.Net for full details of Belize’s 2015 General Elections.