Opinion: The road to Election Day 2014

POSTED: 03/21/14 7:02 PM

Unless someone pulls a political white rabbit out of his hat soon, two important dates are set for this year’s elections. The first one is obviously the one for Election Day: Friday, September 5. Another date is the one for Postulation Day – the day when political parties and their supporters trek to the A.C. Wathey Legislative Hall to submit their lists of candidates. That will happen on Friday, July 18.

Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs Sarah Wescot-Williams gave a comprehensive overview of all the steps that lead up to Election Day 2014. We’ll go through them and – in as far as this is possible – pin a date on each step to the best of our abilities.

Political parties must register with the Electoral Council the latest six weeks before Postulation Day. Since we have put postulation at July 18, the deadline for registration will be Friday, June 6.

After that moment, the Electoral Council has three weeks (until Friday, June 27) to examine the registrations.

The voters register closes 30 days before Postulation Day, therefore, on Wednesday, June 18. That same day is the deadline for the appointment of the members of the Central Voting Bureau.

Voters have the opportunity to challenge the register in court, for instance if they should be included and they are not, the court decision goes to the Minister of General Affairs.

Three weeks before Postulation Day ((Friday, June 27) political parties have the opportunity to submit their lists of candidates for scrutiny to the Central Voting Bureau.

The Central Voting Bureau checks that candidate lists comply with all regulations. If they find mistakes, parties have three days to correct them.

One day after parties have submitted their eventual corrections, the Central Voting Bureau validates the lists. That’s not all folks, because parties still have the opportunity to file objections, and decisions have to be taken about these appeals. A timeframe for this procedure was not given.

The Central Voting Bureau decides about the numbering of the lists – again followed by an opportunity to file objections in court. Decisions must be taken within three days.

Eight days before Election Day – Thursday August 28 – the voting cards are sent to the electorate.

Lastly, on the fifth day after Election Day – Wednesday September 10 – the Central Voting Bureau established the outcome of the elections in an official report.

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