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Elections changes clears final hurdle

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And of all those many bills and motions, the one that will impact all of us in the near future, is the change to Elections Law paving the way for 19 single-member constituencies and One Man One Vote.
Now that the changes are law Elections Supervisor Wesley Howell says his team is ready for the voting that takes place 211 days from now.
“I am hoping that within the next few weeks. It typically does not take very long once the la is finished and for the Governor to assent and then gazette the bills and then they become law,” he said.
Mr Howell is counting on a speedy gazetting of changes to the Election Law.
With its passage on Monday it’s expected that Elections Office staff will hit the ground running, but he says they weren’t waiting for that baton to begin their race.
“We are actually ahead of the curve in terms of preparations. It is just comforting to know that we have the legislation finalised so we do not have to worry about the timing for that,” he said.
Passage of the amendments were by no means a smooth ride for government as Independent MLA raised objections to party registrations as laid out in the bill, but adjustments were made.
“The wording of that was modified so that the registration itself is optional, but if they choose to be registered they have the right to do so,” he added.
Another key change, apart from the voting process, is modification of the actual ballot paper.
“Candidates photographs if they are an independent there will be an independent notation in there and if they are a member of a party then their party symbol will be on the ballot paper,” Mr Howell said.
This, he says, will ensure those who have trouble understanding the ballot paper can vote unassisted come May 24, 2017. The deadline for voter registration is drawing close so don’t forget to make sure your name is on the list.

About the author

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath is a Trinidadian journalist with 18 years media experience with a strong background in print with her most recent stint at The Cayman Reporter. She has a BA in Mass Communications, as well as, an Associate degree in Journalism and Public Relations.

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