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Geoffrey McPhee, of the Parliamentary Registration Department, told “The Abaconian” the following is all that is necessary to register to vote according to the country’s Parliamentary Elections Act.

Clarity on Voter Registration Requirements 2016

 

Bahamas Voting ThumbRecently there has been some confusion over what is needed for a citizen to be able to register to vote in any election or referendum.

Geoffrey McPhee, of the Parliamentary Registration Department, told “The Abaconian” the following is all that is necessary to register to vote according to the country’s Parliamentary Elections Act.

The Department, according to law, requires an identifying document for registration and the first option that they accept is a passport. Mr. McPhee confirmed that it does not have to be one of the new e-passports, and in fact the department has the leeway to accept a passport that has been expired up to one year after expiry.

The second option is a birth certificate, plus a 2012 voter’s card, plus a National Insurance Board (NIB) number. He said there is a qualification on the birth certificate; however, as it must be for someone born before 1973. If the person is born after 1973, then they must provide their mother’s information.

“There are other things we try to do, as there are some persons who do not have a birth certificate,” he said.

In an instance where the registrant does not have a birth certificate, in particular the elderly, the department can review other documents, including baptismal certificate or such reasonable evidence and make a determination.

Mr. McPhee said that a passport or birth certificate (with supporting documents) are the only two things listed in the act for registering to vote.

He added that “We do not accept affidavits, we cannot accept registered affidavits. Those persons are to use the affidavits at the Passport Office to get their passports.”

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About Timothy Roberts

Timothy Roberts

Timothy had his first venture into Journalism just months after graduating from Queen’s College in Nassau taking his first job with The Tribune in 1991 leaving in 1992 for other pursuits.

During his time in Nassau he diversified his experiences working as a warehouse manager, locksmith and computer technician before returning to Abaco, a place he has always considered home, in 1999.

He joined the staff of The Abaconian in 2001 doing graphic design and writing an opinion article called Generally Speaking and after a brief time away, returned to The Abaconian in 2010 as a reporter, graphic designer and computer technician.

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