Today’s Editorial: Monday last day

Monday, 14 February is the last day for the filing of any claims or objections to the voters list that will be in force for the 11 May General Elections.

People who have recently registered to vote are especially urged to check the voters’ lists, more precisely known as the Official Register of Electors. If any person’s name is missing or wrongly listed, he or she should file a claim.

Voters already on the list, but who may have changed name, address or occupation should also take the time to check that such particulars are correct. Voters temporarily displaced by Hurricane Ivan have been reassured by election officials that their qualifying address is their permanent place of abode.

Potential objectors should bear this in mind when examining the voters list. However, any registered voter who believes that a person on the list is not entitled to be there may file an objection.

All of the above has been said before. The Supervisor of Elections and his two deputies have held media interviews, issued press releases, updated the Elections office website and published official notices for every step of the election process.

The deadline for registering to vote in the General Elections has already passed. Soon the Revision Officer, a senior magistrate, will travel to the districts to settle any claims or objections. The final list for the second quarter of 2005 comes into effect on 1 April.

The revision process is the last time individuals will have an impact on the Official Register of Electors before Election Day.

But there are other preliminary dates for voters to be aware of.

For example, application forms will be available from 18 February for all registered voters who plan to vote by postal ballot. These forms should be handed in as soon as possible; the last date is 29 April.

The Election Law requires that the first issue of postal ballots be within seven days after Nomination Day, already announced as 16 March. The first issue of postal ballots is therefore set for Wednesday, 23 March.

It is easy to predict that, once the present meeting of the Legislative Assembly concludes, political campaigning will pick up steam. It is also safe to predict that the Elections Office will continue to update the public on details of the election process as they are finalised.

It is up to the voters themselves to remain involved by considering carefully all of the information put before them in the next 89 days.

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