Election Day 2021 is now hours away.
This means early on Wednesday, local polls will open, allowing registered voters to have their say on who they want to lead country for the next four years, as the country navigates the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic recovery.
In this election rules round-up, the Compass takes a look at the essential points to consider as voters head to the polling stations.
When do polls open?
Polling stations open at 7am and close at 6pm.
Where do I vote?
Each of the 19 constituencies has its own registered polling station. Click here to find out where you have to vote in your constituency.
How to vote?
An elector votes for a candidate by placing an X to the right of the candidate’s name. If an elector marks the ballot paper in any way that will identify the elector the ballot paper will be rejected. After voting, an elector must fold the ballot paper along the line shown on the ballot paper and hand the folded ballot paper to the Presiding Officer.
What happens if I spoil my ballot?
If an elector inadvertently spoils a ballot paper that person can obtain another one by returning the spoilt one to the Presiding Officer.
What do I bring to the polling station?
The Election Office asks voters to bring their voter’s ID when heading to the polling station. Face masks or coverings are encouraged to be worn at polling stations on Election Day but is not a requirement to vote.
Can I vote if I do not have a voter’s ID?
Yes. Any government-issued ID can work if you do not have a voter’s ID to cast your ballot.
Election need to know
Can someone help me vote?
If you need assistance in marking your ballot, a presiding officer will help. A friend can be present to observe only.
Can I keep a ballot paper?
A person given a ballot paper must not take it from the polling station. After voting, an elector must leave the polling station.
Can I take my phone/camera with me to the polling station?
Cameras, cell phones or other electronic equipment are not allowed.
If I missed my mobile voting date can I still vote?
If you were approved for mobile voting and did not vote, you can still vote in person at the polls on Election Day. All postal ballots must be received by the Returning Officer by 6pm on 14 April to be counted.
Can I vote more than once?
An elector must not vote at more than one polling station.
Can I vote for more than one person?
No, an elector may vote for one candidate only. If the elector votes for more than one candidate, the ballot paper is void and none of the votes will be counted. If an elector attempts to give a candidate more than one vote, only one vote will be awarded.
What happens after I vote?
The Presiding Officer will, in the full view of those present including the elector, remove the counterfoil from the ballot paper and return the ballot paper to the elector who will deposit the ballot paper in the ballot box; if the elector is physically unable (for example, if the voter is disabled) to deposit the ballot paper in the ballot box, the presiding officer will, on the elector’s behalf, deposit the ballot paper in the ballot box.
Where are ballots counted?
Ballots are counted at the polling stations. After counting, a winner is declared. If there are any recount requests, this is done at the polling station.
What happens to ballots after they are counted?
The ballots are delivered to the Governor for safe keeping for one year. If no legal challenges to the polls are filed within that time, the ballots are then destroyed.
Can you campaign on Election Day?
It is illegal to canvass on polling day. No candidate or party t-shirts are allowed at the polling stations. Campaign advertising, which applies to newspapers, periodicals, radio, television or any other printed or electronic form, is not allowed on Election Day. Billboards should be taken down and roadside signs removed by midnight on 13 April. Candidates, agents and canvassers are not allowed to loiter within 300 feet of any polling stations.
Is drinking allowed on Election Day?
No. from the time polling stations open at 7am until an hour after they close on Wednesday, 14 April, no alcohol can be sold, offered for sale or given away at any premises in the electoral districts. The ban on alcohol sales applies to all bars, restaurants, hotels, liquor stores and commercial boats.