en English

This is the News Single Layout page. This element exists only to be referenced in JS

From the Supervisor of Elections – Vol II No 2: Votes from the great beyond?

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

By: Supervisor of Elections

Office of the AG

Electoral Office

 
previous arrow
next arrow

HIGHLIGHTS

The Voters list will always have names of deceased persons due to it being produced in advance of polling day
Verification of the electoral identity is important as it is the address at which the person died as opposed to the address at which the person actually lived and registered
If any living person's name was removed from the register by reason of death, they should contact the Electoral Office to have the matter rectified, even on voting day.
There are three significant safeguards to prevent deceased persons from voting in an election
When these safeguards are followed, it is impossible for dead persons to vote in the elections

From the Supervisor of Elections
Vol II Issue No 2: Votes from the great beyond?

In the USA, the losing side has claimed that persons who were long deceased cast votes in the November 3rd election. It is something we have heard before. I cannot comment on the US situation, but I will outline why that cannot happen here.

Let me state from the outset that our voters list always has and always will have names of deceased persons on them. This is for several reasons: a) the voters lists is produced in advance of polling day, so between publication and polling, some people may pass away, b) we can only remove names of deceased when we receive notification of death from the Ministry of Health – which we receive once per year – or if someone produces a death certificate, c) not all persons on our register actually die within the Federation, so we may never know, and d) when the electoral identity (name, address, occupation, date of birth) of the deceased is consistent with the certified information or can be independently verified.

Verification of the electoral identity is particularly important as it is the address at which the person died that will be recorded on the death certificate as opposed to the address at which the person actually lived and registered. We have had situations where persons who are very much alive were reported to have died. This was the case with Ms ***** (name withheld) of Bath Village, Nevis, who was a witness in the election petition of Brantley vs Daniel in 2012.

Please note, that any living person, whose name was removed from the register by reason of death should contact the Electoral Office to have the matter rectified, even on voting day.

So how do we prevent these persons from voting? There are three significant safeguards.

Firstly, each polling station is equipped with a Voter Verification List, VVL, or picture list. When a voter presents him/herself, a picture identification is required. We train our staff to compare the picture list with the person presenting and the id offered as a form of verification. It is true that the voter can vote without a picture id, – he/she can take an oath of identity. But remember, we have a picture of the person standing in front of us.

Secondly, we try as much as possible to place electoral staff in or near their sphere of residence. Thus, while they may not know everybody – in particular, the overseas based voters – there is a level of familiarity that can be applied.

Thirdly, each candidate is allowed to place an Agent in each and every polling station. The role of the agent is critical, it is they who must ensure that procedures are properly followed. It therefore behooves the candidates to educate their agents in the laws that govern the electoral process. If an agent observes any infraction, they have a right to object and escalate their objection to the Returning Officer, the Supervisor or the Electoral Commission. There is even the opportunity to lodge a complaint with independent observers when present. Critically, each Agent is equipped with a copy of the VVL.

When these safeguards are followed, it is impossible for dead persons to vote in our elections… period!

Maybe we should then amend or tag line to say “one live person, one vote in the right place and fairness to all”.

It is the principal mission of the Office of the Attorney General to provide legal advice and services to and on behalf of The Crown, and to conduct and respond to all matters of litigation for and against The Crown or any Ministry or Agency of the Government.

Importantly, its mandate includes the extensive oversight of the legislative agenda of the Government.

The Office of the Attorney General also provides administrative support for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and superintends all matters relating to the Electoral Office.

Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs

The Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs ensures that the rule of law is facilitated and supported by the various mechanisms by which citizens can have equal access to the justice system and by which they can be afforded the protection of the law. It also takes responsibility for ensuring that the statutes are updated and modernized to keep pace with an evolving society.

Quick and convenient access to important and noteworthy matters relevant to entities under the Office of the Attorney General and departments within the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs.

Hon. Mr. Vincent Byron
Attorney General

Ms. Diana Francis
Permanent Secretary

(Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs)

The Office of the Attorney General

The Office of the Attorney General is chiefly responsible for providing legal counsel and advice to the Executive Branch of the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis. The functioning of the Office is rooted in the Constitution and is further detailed by the provisions of the Attorney General’s Act Cap 3.02 of the laws of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.

One of the more prolific manifestations of the advisory functions of the Office of the Attorney General is its contribution to the legislative agenda of the government. As such, the responsibility of preparation of all legislation: from conceptualization to the presentation of Bills and the crafting of Regulations falls within the purview of the office.

Get In Touch

Government Headquarters,
Church Street, Basseterre, St. Kitts

+1(869) 467-1013

attorneygeneral@gov.kn

Share
Tweet
WhatsApp