Jamaica’s system of governance is based on representatives elected by voters in constituencies defined by geographical location. The Representation of the People Act, ROPA stipulates that electors must vote in the constituencies in which they are resident.
In addition, there is the agreement that the number of constituencies into which Jamaica is divided is to be increased to an odd number. Accurate data is absolutely essential in the decision making with respect to where constituencies are to be added as well as how electoral boundaries are to be drawn. The principles determining constituency allocation to Parishes and the drawing of constituency boundaries, within the limits set by the Constitution of Jamaica, were recommended at a Retreat in June 2005, confirmed by the political parties and approved by the EAC. Continue reading →
Tomorrow is Nomination Day. Election Day is set for October 16th. The EAC and the EOJ, working with the political parties and their leaders, have sought to overcome many of the weaknesses that existed in our electoral system. While the system is not perfect, we have accomplished the following:
Produced the largest and cleanest Voters List in the history of the country.
Settled the location of all polling stations based on agreed standards.
Mailed voters guide to electors advising them of the polling stations where they should vote.
Established a Web Site where persons can check if they are on the Voters List and, if they are, where to vote.
Distributed Voter ID Cards to every elector who was available to receive their card.
Recruited and trained a high calibre of Election Day Workers and had the Law amended to have Election Day Workers vote on the same day as the military and the police.
Instituted an additional means of identifying electors on Election Day.
Created a manual that has been distributed to every member of the Security Forces concerning the Law and their role in enforcing it on Election Day.
Created and distributed a similar manual for all Candidates.
Established the Election Centre to act as a clearinghouse and focal point of coordination and conflict resolution.
Worked closely with CAFFEE with respect to local observers of the elections.
Invited international observers both to vet the reforms we have put in place as well as to observe the elections.
On June 19 Jamaicans go to the Polls to elect Local Government Representatives. These Local Government Elections will be historic from two perspectives. First, in the newly created Municipality of Portmore, we will have for the first time the direct election of the Mayor by the people of the Municipality. Municipalities are not entirely new in Jamaica, but the direct election of the Mayor is. In this regard, Jamaica is now following what is common practice in several parts of the world.Continue reading →
On behalf of the Electoral Advisory Committee, I wish to thank you for offering to serve as an Election Day Worker. It is not possible to over-estimate the importance of the task that you have accepted to perform.
For the democratic process to work it is imperative that elections are free and fair. It is of the utmost importance that only duly registered electors vote and that they vote only once by secret ballot. It is equally important that the ballot marked in secret is kept secret and that at the end of the poll all ballots are accounted for and duly counted. Continue reading →