NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (February 16, 2022) – Mr. Elvin Bailey, Supervisor of Elections for St. Kitts and Nevis, has informed that hearings for objections to persons on the Annual Register of Voters for 2022 are being scheduled to begin late in March.
“We will make a concerted effort to contact all the persons objected as we have done in previous years. Natural justice demands that we do so. It is a pre-active and proactive act to protect us from persons later arguing ignorance in Court.
“When the Registration Officers hear the cases, like all good court officers, they will rely on evidence, not information. After all, it is a magisterial exercise. Therefore, it is insufficient for an objector to merely state that a person does not live where they are registered as residing; the objector must bring evidence, under oath or affidavits, that they do not live where they said; as well as evidence that they reside somewhere else. This is according to the [National Assembly Elections] Act, buttressed by case law,” he explained.
The Annual Register of Voters for 2022, published on January 31, 2022, lists persons on St. Kitts and Nevis who were registered to vote up until November 30, 2021.
At the end of the objection period, there was a total of 590 objections for the eight constituencies on St. Kitts; 527 of those are being challenged as deceased. On Nevis there were 401 objections over three constituencies; 114 are challenged as being deceased.
“Dead persons will only be removed on documentation from the competent authority, the Registrar of Deaths,” Mr. Bailey stated. “Alternately, a death certificate must be produced, but we are flexible and will accept a funerary programme. Note well that the burden of proof is on the objector.”
He went on to inform that incomplete or incorrect objections will not be processed, outlining the parameters by which objections are deemed valid.
“An objection must be based on the correct Constituency and polling division. Names being objected to must appear on the 2022 Register. Departure from the Federation in and of itself is not grounds for removal of names from the Voters List, not even for Commonwealth citizens. For registrants who never lived here but who are citizens by descent from parents or grandparents, the objector must prove that the address is not the address from which the parent or grandparent emigrated.”
Additionally the Elections Supervisor pointed out that by a recent amendment to the Act, persons whose address has changed have a six-month grace period to amend their information before they become “illegally” registered.
The Act does not allow any amendment to an objection after the period for objections has passed, he stressed, therefore objections that are based on incorrect information, and any that are received after the due date will not be deliberated upon.