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Sweeping campaign changes coming with amended Elections Act

Sweeping campaign changes coming with amended Elections Act

A number of sweeping measures are expected to come into force once legislators have amended the existing Elections Act.

A recent Cabinet post-meeting statement showed that legislators are looking at restricting campaigning at polling stations on Advance Polling Day, among other things.

Importantly, the legislation will also be looking at electoral finance measures and will be establishing rules on contribution and expenditure limits.

The new legislation will also establish reporting and disclosure obligations of electoral candidates and parties to provide information about the origins of received contributions.

It will also establish the reporting/monitoring and enforcement/sanctions as it relates to campaign finance rules by an oversight body to be called the Elections Advisory Committee.

One of the new features of the proposed amended legislation is a provision for arrangements for elections to include alternate voting methods.

It will also allow for the preliminary list and the revised list of voters to be made available electronically.

Legislators are also seeking to strengthen the process relating to transferring registration by, among other things, stipulating the mechanism of transferring registration from one polling division to another within the same electoral district.

Other measures such as stipulating the process of continuous registration will also be implemented, wherein a definition is expected to be fashioned for terminology such as “resident” and “domiciled/ordinarily resident” persons.

Another proposed amendment is that new registrants will be required to furnish proof of residence within the electoral district and/or polling division which they are seeking to register, and a penalty for providing false documents in such instances will be stipulated.

Voters’ list accuracy

There will also be measures to aid in the maintenance and accuracy of the voters’ list.

This is expected to be done by allowing the Supervisor of Elections to give notice to a voter that reasonable grounds exists to prove that the voter is no longer ordinarily resident in the electoral district/polling division in which he/she is registered.

The legislation will also give an indication of the pending change, and the mechanism whereby the change by the Supervisor to the registered electoral district/polling division can be challenged.


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