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May 9, 2018

Re-registration is Almost Here; Elections and Boundaries Meets the Press

The re-registration exercise commences on July first of this year and will conclude at the end of December. This exercise prefaces the ICJ referendum on April tenth of next year and to qualify to vote in that referendum, persons must have re-registered by the end of December. The voters list for the referendum will be finalized by March fifth and so new voters are encouraged to register no later than March tenth – one month before the referendum. The Elections and Boundaries Department says that around one hundred registration centers will be opened around the country for two months, starting July second. In July and August those who wish to re-register and register for the first time can do so at these centers and after that period all other registrations will be at the department’s offices countrywide. But what about those who can’t make it out to the centers? The Elections and Boundaries Department says those persons, such as the elderly and incapacitated need to reach out to the department and appropriate arrangements will be made. Today, Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai spoke with the media about who qualifies to re-register and what documents must be presented for the process.

 

Josephine Tamai

Josephine Tamai, Chief Elections Officer, Elections & Boundaries Department

“A person must be eighteen years of age and is a citizen of Belize or a citizen of a commonwealth country who has resided in Belize for no less than twelve months. In order to be qualified as a registered elector in a particular division, persons must reside at that specific address in that division for no less than two months, so that is crucial. You must reside at your particular address for no less than two months in order for you to be registered at that particular address. Persons who come to the registration centers are required to bring along with them their original birth certificate and a photograph. The photograph can be one which is signed, stamped and certified by a Justice of the Peace. We will also be accepting the social security card as a form of identification as a picture ID. Persons can also bring along a valid passport. Naturalized Belizeans must bring along either their Belizean passport or their nationality certificates. For their persons who present nationality certificates that don’t have photographs on them, those persons are also required to bring along a picture ID, again, stamped, signed and certified by a JP for them to get registered.  So, that is basically saying that any person who comes in must bring an ID card or a photo identification signed by a Justice of the Peace. For those females who have married, if you don’t have any identification card in your married name, you will be required to bring in your marriage certificate in order to be registered in your married name. Persons who have changed their names, those persons need to bring in their deed poll and those are only accepted along with a birth certificate; so you can’t just come with the deed poll, the birth certificate needs to be attached.  In terms of Belizeans living abroad, remember one of the qualifications, you must reside in Belize at the specific address for at least two months. But when it comes to residents, the law provides that for persons who are in employment with the Government of Belize, persons seeking medical attention and for persons who are studying abroad, they are still considered a resident; so those persons, once they come in they can still apply to be registered.”

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