NATIONALS who are abroad will not be able to vote in the August 10 general election, said Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) corporate communications manager Bobbi Rogers.
An estimated 330,000 nationals were abroad after the borders were closed on March 22 as part of covid19 preventative measures.
On Monday National Security Minister Stuart Young, speaking during the covid19 media briefing, reported he had received between 2,500 and 3,000 applications for exemption to return, and there are more which have not yet been entered into the system.
On Tuesday Rogers told Newsday that the legislation, and specifically the Representation of the People Act, does not provide for voting by proxy or overseas either by mail or electronically.
She said the EBC has been asked about people who work as foreign service officers and at embassies, but this group also cannot vote because there is no legal provision.
She reported that the electoral registration process began on Tuesday and will end on July 15.
Asked about people with expired ID cards, Rogers said the cards are not needed to vote, and all ID cards will be valid until December 21 – but people need to be registered electors.
She explained that once someone was registered for an ID card they would be in the system, and when they turned 18 the EBC would send out correspondence.
People who have changed their address or name, got married or divorced, or are over 18 but were never registered, should come into the EBC to authenticate their details.
Rogers also said people can go to vote without their polling card and once they are on the list a poll card would be made available at their polling station.
She stressed for people to be able to vote their name must be on the list of electors and she encouraged them to check the EBC website and then the area where they are registered to ensure they are on the list.
On Tuesday afternoon the EBC was scheduled to hold a mock polling exercise, which was not open to the public or the media. The exercise was to feature the full voting process, with physical distancing, masks and sanitisation (all covid19 prevention measures), under the supervision by the Health Ministry.