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Things You Should Know In Order to Vote

Things You Should Know In Order to Vote
February 01
22:23 2019

If you are 18 years or older and want to vote in the April 10th Referendum on whether Belize should take our territorial conflict with Guatemala to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the deadline to re-register is March 10th; that is if you already have a valid passport, social security card and birth paper.

If all you have is a Social Security card, the Elections and Boundaries Department would need another form of identification as a supporting document since there are non-Belizeans who also have social security cards.

If you do not possess any kind of identification, then the Chief Elections Officer, Josephine Tamai urges you to apply for your birth paper from now since that process takes a while to complete before you can apply for your voter’s card. People who need to make corrections to their names on their existing documents are advised to also get their new documents from now from the respective department that distributes them in order to have time to apply for a new voter’s card.

Tamai explained that applicants must be 18 years or older upon the day of their application in order to be considered for a voter’s card. If someone’s 28th birthday is just days away, she advises them to wait until that day come before applying for a voter’s card since no one under 18 will be considered.

Applicants also need to be residing for at least two months at the address where they want to vote in an election. Elections officials have had to investigate the addresses of everyone who has applied, even if it means cross-checking with a next-door neighbour, she said. This was one of the main reasons why some eight percent of the 133,000 plus applicants who applied were declined, Tamai said. Another main reason why some people were declined was because they did not have supporting documents from the Vital Statistics or Immigration Department (passport or birth paper) to prove that they are Belizean.

The 133,000 persons who have applied to appear on the new voters’ register represents 65 percent of the total number of voters who were on the old register. And while she had predicted at the start of the re-registration window last July that there would likely be the same 200,000 persons registering now as was on the old register, she now feels that number will not be matched. She does feel that there will be a spike in the weeks just prior to the March 10th deadline, but assures that the Department will hire additional people in order to process the applications and get the cards printed for those that are approved.

Tamai also explained that the Elections and Boundaries Department has not yet disseminated any new cards because the processing has taken longer than expected. She said that the Department will notify people through the media when they may pick up their cards..


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