From the Supervisor of Elections…

I read an internet article about a woman in America who voted (twice)when she was ineligible to do so.  She was a green card holder who incorrectly claimed that she was a citizen.  On the basis of being a citizen, she was allowed to vote.  When it was discovered that she lied on her application for voting status, she was jailed for 8 years and is expected to be deported.  She is in her late 30’s and was brought to the US as an infant.  What does her situation have to do with ours?

Here, when one applies for voting rights, resident citizens complete Form 1A, overseas resident citizens complete Form 1B and commonwealth citizens complete Form 1C.  Each of these forms has a section that requires a declaration which says, in part, I…do declare  that the particulars entered on …this FORM are to the best of my knowledge and belief true and correct in all respects and that I am qualified to be registered as a voter in the above-mentioned constituency.  The declaration must be signed in the presence of the electoral officer.  That is why applicants must come in person.

Like the USA, our National Assembly Election Act Cap 2.01, at Section 50 of Part III Constituencies and Registration of Voters, sets out penalties for supplying false information in an effort to gain registration.  It states that any person who wilfully makes any claim to be included in the register of voters commits an offence and is liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding thirty thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or both.

Also, a person who knowingly makes a false statement for the purpose of being registered as a voter commits an offence and is liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding thirty thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or both.

Further, a person who knowingly makes a false statement for the purpose of voting in any constituency commits an offence and is liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding thirty thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or both.

While the Act does not specify a lifetime voting ban for such offences, (nor are we advocating it), it disqualifies a person who is certified to be insane or of unsound mind, or who is under a death sentence anywhere in the Commonwealth or imprisoned for 12 months or more, from being registered to vote.  And, as mentioned before, a person who has not voted in the previous two elections can become de-registered.

To date, no one has been charged, and certainly no one has been convicted of any offences, but a few have been de-registered.Please do not be the first to be convicted; and let us end the de-registrations.  Let us have one person, one vote, in the right place and fairness for all!