Why Register to Vote?
Every five years, elections are constitutionally due in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. Whilst the government has established an Electoral Office to facilitate the registration of voters, many citizens do not take advantage of this fundamental right. The question is: Why register to vote?
Your vote is your voice. For your voice to be heard, you must register to vote. It is your right and your responsibility. Our elected officials determine much concerning our quality of life. Don’t let someone else choose your elected officials for you. The biggest election issues often directly affect the youth and the elderly and will impact life for years to come. The only way democracy works is if citizens, young and old, are active participants.
If you haven’t already, here are a few more reasons why you should register to secure your right to vote:
- Voting gives you a say on important issues that affect you – everything from roads, health care, education and taxes. You may think you don’t want to vote now, but if an issue comes up that you want to have your say on, if you’re registered you’ll have the chance to vote on it;
- If you don’t register, you can’t vote! – It’s as simple as that. To vote in any elections, your name MUST be on the voters’ list. Registration is easy – simply visit the nearest Electoral Office (Basseterre or Charlestown) and have your personal data taken;
- Elections give you a chance to choose your leadership and ruling political parties. It gives you a say on who represents you at the constituency level. One of the candidates will be selected to represent you whether you vote or not, so if you’re registered, you’ll have the chance to have a say on who represents you by voting. Some of us are quick to complain when they disagree with politicians, but if you don’t register and don’t vote, nothing will change. Make sure you do your part when next an election is called;
- You may think voting changes nothing, but in fact it is one of the most important means of making a difference. Remember, a government only has power because people vote for it. If you don’t vote, you’re giving control over your life to those who actually go out and vote;
- Some elections are won by a handful of votes – that means your vote could change the result of an entire election;
- Elections can be called at any time and at short notice. If you’re not registered you won’t be able to vote! So do not wait until it’s too late – register today and you can definitely have your say;
- Across the world people have died fighting for the right to vote and to be part of a democracy. In South Africa, not until the end of apartheid, in 1994, were black people able to vote for the first time. It was only as recent as 2005, that women in Kuwait finally secured the right to vote and run for office! Today, many people across the world are still denied the right to vote;
- And here’s another plus! When you register to vote, you will get a Voter’s ID card that is used as a de facto national ID, and is even accepted internationally in some cases. Many local banks, financial and lending institutions rely on our ID Cards to verify your identity.