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Mar 26

National Assembly Elections (Amendment) Bill 2018

No.      of 2018            National Assembly Elections (Amendment)        Saint Christopher

Bill, 2018                                                     and Nevis

 

 

SAINT CHRISTOPHER AND NEVIS

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

No.         of 2018

 

A BILL to amend the National Assembly Elections Act, Cap. 2.01.

 

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the National Assembly of Saint Christopher and Nevis and by the authority of the same as follows:

 

  1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the National Assembly Elections (Amendment) Act, 2018.

 

  1. Interpretation.

In this Act,

“principal Act” means the National Assembly Elections Act, Cap. 2.01.

 

  1. Amendment of section 2.

The principal Act is amended in section 2

 

  • In the definition of the expression “election officer” by replacing the expression “poll clerk or” with the expression “poll clerk, enumerator or”;

 

  • in the definition of “qualifying address” by

 

  • deleting the expression “or domicile”; and

 

  • deleting the expression “or 37B”.

 

  1. Amendment of section 37.

The principal Act is amended in section 37 subsection (1), by replacing it as follows

 

“37 (1). Subject to this Act and any other enactment imposing any       disqualifications for registration as a voter, a person is qualified to be       registered as a voter for a constituency, if on the registration date or      enumeration date he or she is

(a)         a citizen of Saint Christopher and Nevis of eighteen years or upwards is ordinarily resident in Saint Christopher and Nevis;

(b)          a Commonwealth citizen (not being a citizen of Saint Christopher and Nevis) of eighteen years or upwards who has been ordinarily resident in Saint Christopher and Nevis for a continuous period of at least three years immediately before the registration date.”.

 

  1. Amendment of section 37A.

The principal Act is amended in section 37A subsection (1) by replacing the expression “ordinarily resident on the registration date” with the expression “ordinarily resident for at least six months before the registration date”.

 

  1. Amendment of section 37B.

The principal Act is amended in section 37B by deleting that section.

 

  1. Addition of section 43A

The principal Act is amended by adding a new section 43A immediately following section 43 as follows

 

43A. Enumeration

  • Notwithstanding the provisions of section 43 (1), the Minister may prescribe an enumeration period, by Order published in the Gazette, for the purpose of preparing the register of voters for each constituency.

 

  • The Minister may extend an enumeration period, by Order published in the Gazette.

 

  • The terms and conditions for the purposes of enumeration are set out in the Eighth Schedule.

 

 

  1. Amendment of section 121.

The principal Act is amended in section 121 by adding the following new subsections (5), (6), (7) and (8) immediately after subsection (4)

 

“(5) During the registration period referred to in subsection (1), the Chief   Registration Officer or the Registration Officer for a constituency may establish a         temporary office within each constituency and invite all persons registered as            voters for a constituency to visit that office for the purpose of confirming their     registration in that constituency.

 

(6) The Chief Registration Officer or the Registration Officer for a constituency    may invite scrutineers from each political party to observe the confirmation      process.

 

(7) Once the period referred to in subsections (1) or (4) has passed, the Chief         Registration Officer or the Registration Officer for a constituency may invite      scrutineers from each political party to participate in the process of reviewing the           names of persons registered as voters for the constituency who did not confirm            their registration within the registration period.

 

(8) For the purposes of registration, confirmation and reviewing of the persons       registered, the Chief Registration Officer or the Registration Officer for a            constituency may visit any house within the constituency to ascertain whether       persons whose names appear on any list reside in the constituency or are still      alive.”.

 

  1. Amendment of First Schedule.

The principal Act is amended in the First Schedule by replacing it as follows

 

“FIRST SCHEDULE

(Section 2)

COMMONWEALTH COUNTRIES

 

Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands.”.

 

 

  1. Amendment of Second Schedule.

The principal Act is amended in the Second Schedule by adding a New Form … as follows

 

FORM No. 6B

Oath of Enumerator.

(Section 43A)

I, ………………………………………………………………………………………………
having been appointed an enumerator for the constituency or constituencies of ………………………………………………………………………………………………………
do swear that I will faithfully perform all the duties of such enumerator in accordance with the provisions of the National Assembly Elections Act, to the best of my ability.
……………………………………………
Registration Officer.
Sworn before me
……………………………………………
Date ………………………………………..           ……………………………………………….

 

 

 

  1. Addition of new Eighth Schedule

The principal Act is amended by adding a new Eighth Schedule as follows

 

“EIGHTH SCHEDULE

(Section 43A)

ENUMERATION

 

  1. Interpretation

In this Schedule,

 

“enumeration period” means a period [not exceeding] of twelve months commencing on such date as the Minister may from time to time prescribe.

 

  1. Enumeration date

Where an enumeration period has been prescribed pursuant to section 43A (1), the Chief Registration Officer may prescribe a specific date, during the period, on which enumeration of persons for each constituency is to commence.

 

  1. Appointment of enumerators
  • The Supervisor of Elections shall appoint enumerators, for the period prescribed by the Minister under section 43A (1).

 

  • Upon his or her appointment, every enumerator shall take and subscribe an oath in the form set out as Form No. 6B in the Second Schedule and shall transmit such oath to the Supervisor of Elections.

 

  • An enumerator shall receive such remuneration as may be prescribed by the Minister.

 

  • The Supervisor of Elections may replace an enumerator and appoint another person to act in the place and stead of the replaced enumerator.

 

  • A replaced enumerator shall deliver and give up, to the Chief Registration Officer, any election documents, papers and any written information which he or she obtained for the purpose of performing his or her duties.

 

  • A replaced enumerator who contravenes the provisions of subsection (5) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars.

 

  1. Disqualification

Where a person is convicted of an offence under section 3 (6), 6 (3), 6 (6), the court may in addition to imposing a penalty, order that such person is disqualified from holding any post for an election officer for a period of seven years from the date of conviction.

 

  1. Powers of enumerator
  • An enumerator may enter upon any premises in the polling division in respect of which he or she is appointed and there make such inquiries as to the persons registered or qualified to be registered as voters.

 

  • Where an enumerator enters upon any premises under this section, he or she may ask such questions of any person upon the premises who appears to him or her to be of the age of sixteen/eighteen years or over, as in his opinion may be necessary to enable him to obtain the information referred to in subsection (1).

 

  • Notwithstanding subsection (1), where a person indicates to the enumerator that he or she is not desirous of being registered as a voter, the enumerator shall not make further inquiries in relation to that person.

 

  • Notwithstanding subsection (1), an enumerator shall not enter upon any premises

 

  • except between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. unless the occupier of such premises consents to his entering thereon otherwise than during such hours; and

 

  • at any time when he or she is not wearing an enumerator’s identification badge supplied to him or her by the Supervisor of Elections.

 

  • An enumerator who contravenes the provisions of subsection (3) or (4) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars.

 

  1. Duties of enumerators

(1) An enumerator shall, in the polling division assigned to him or her by the Chief Registration Officer

 

  • carry out a house-to-house inquiry of persons who are not on the register of voters; and

 

  • verify the address of persons who are on the register of voters;

 

  • exercise the utmost care to ensure that he or she obtains accurate information regarding the name, address, occupation, or any other required particulars of persons in the polling division; and

 

  • take every precaution to ensure that he or she does not enumerate any person who is not qualified to vote or to be registered.

 

(2) When making a house-to-house inquiry or when verifying an address, an enumerator shall wear and prominently display an enumerator’s identification badge, provided by the Supervisor of Elections, as evidence of his or her authority to enter the premises.

 

(3) An enumerator who contravenes the provisions of subsection (2), commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars.

 

(3) A person who wears an enumerator’s badge without authority commits an offence pursuant to section 110 of the Act which provides for the penalty for personation.

 

(4) An enumerator shall

 

  • notify the scrutineers, in writing, twenty-four hours before the commencement of the enumeration of the times and places where he or she will start from day to day whenever he or she proposes to conduct a house-to-house inquiry;

 

  • await an acknowledgement of receipt of notice from the scrutineer or secure the signature of two witnesses as proof of service; and

 

  • keep the scrutineers informed of the notices issued by him or her during the course of such enumeration period.

 

(5) An enumerator shall not, when performing his or her duties, ask any question or make any remark to any person with a view to ascertaining or to influence the political views of such person or of any other person upon the premises.

 

(6) An enumerator who contravenes the provisions of subsection (5) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand dollars or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding three months or to both.

 

 

  1. Manner of inquiry

(1) The Chief Registration Officer, for the purpose of preparing a register of voters during a period of enumeration, shall

 

  • have a house-to-house inquiry made in such polling division as to the persons entitled to be registered under the Act.

 

  • take account of the persons who have died in such polling division, whose names appear on the register of voters.

 

(2) The inquiry referred to in subsection (1) shall be made by an enumerator accompanied by scrutineers and shall be conducted in accordance with the rules set out in this Schedule.

 

(3) Pursuant to section 6 (4), a scrutineer shall acknowledge receipt of the written notice from the enumerator.

 

(4) Pursuant to subsection (3), a scrutineer shall wear an identification badge, supplied by the Supervisor of Elections, which indicates that he or she is a scrutineer.

 

(5) A scrutineer shall not ask any questions or make any remarks, to any person when accompanying an enumeration officer, with a view to ascertaining or to influence the political views of such person or any other person on the premises.

 

  • An enumerator conducting a house-to-house shall be supplied, by the Chief Registration Officer, with a Worksheet incorporating the current register of voters for polling divisions in which he or she is appointed to act and any accompanying scrutineer shall obtain similar information from the political party which appointed the scrutineer.

 

  • An enumerator shall record on the Worksheet the following information in respect of each person listed thereon, namely, whether that person , at the date of enumeration

 

  • was ordinarily resident in the polling division at the address indicated in the worksheet;

 

  • was not found at that address;

 

  • was ordinarily resident at a new address;

 

  • refused to be enumerated; or

 

  • has died.

 

  • The enumerator and each scrutineer present shall sign the Worksheet in respect of the record made in relation to each person listed on the Worksheet.

 

  • The enumerator shall keep a register, supplied by the Chief Registration Officer, of all the names, reasons, explanations and other relevant information

 

  • of persons who are not included in the worksheet but who qualify for registration in the polling division;
  • where there is a need for amendment or modification of the information in the Worksheet;
  • of persons who have refused to be enumerated, if the name was obtained or the fact of the refusal if the name was not obtained;
  • of persons against whose enumeration objection has been taken by a scrutineer.

 

  • The register referred to in subsection (9) shall be signed at the end of each day by the enumerator and each scrutineer who accompanied him and if a scrutineer is absent at the time of signing then a record of his absence shall be made in the register.

 

  • The enumerator shall return the worksheet, register and any other relevant documents to the Chief Registration Officer at the end of the enumeration period or upon completion of the house-to-house inquiry in his or her polling division.

 

(12)      A person who, in answer to any question lawfully put to him by an enumerator, in accordance with the powers of an enumerator, makes any statement which he or she knows or has reasonable cause to believe to be false, or does not believe to be true, is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding thirty thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or both

 

  1. Examination or objection by scrutineer
  • A scrutineer shall be entitled, while a house-to-house inquiry is being conducted, to inspect all enumeration documents in his polling division.

 

  • A scrutineer may raise an objection, in accordance with the provisions of Part IV of the Act, to any information in an enumeration document in his polling division.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

……………………………..

  1. MICHAEL PERKINS

                                                                                                            Speaker

 

 

Passed by the National Assembly this                day of                             , 2018.

 

 

 

           

………………………………….

SONIA BODDIE-THOMPSON

                                                                               Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly

 

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