Saturday, November 21, 2009

Elections - 5. At-Large Seats


We frequently hear the question asked today, Why can’t we have at-large seats?  The fact is we don’t have “at-large” voting in Anguilla.  So, what is the law on at-large seats?
Basically, voting “at-large” means voting which is not limited to the residents of a particular constituency, but where all the residents of the country have a say in the election of some if not all the representatives.  In Anguilla there are no at-large seats.  In the BVI some of the seats are at-large, and other seats of the BVI House of Assembly are elected by the District or Constituency.  In Montserrat, by comparison, all the seats in the Legislative Assembly are elected at-large. 
Note that voting “at-large” is not the same thing as voting for a “slate”.  In some countries, each party puts up a slate of candidates, with the head of the party and other senior members at the head of the list.  You do not vote for an individual, but for the slate.  If the party wins three-quarters of the vote, then the members at the head of the list who constitute three-quarters of the membership of the House are elected.  This system does not exist in our British Overseas Territories in the West Indies. 
The advantages of voting at-large far outweigh any disadvantages.  The advantages include that representatives represent the interests of the whole country, not of a tiny constituency, which in the case of Anguilla can consist of as few as 500-600 voters.  The opportunity to win an election by buying votes increases the smaller the constituency.  A wealthy candidate can buy the votes of a dozen influential voters in his or her constituency, and win the election with their support.  If the same candidate had to fact the entire country, buying votes would be much more problematic.  A second advantage is that a candidate elected at-large is more likely to have the interests of the entire country at heart, not just the interests of a narrow part of the community.  Pork-barrel politics is less likely to prevail in a system where at-large voting exists.  So, how does at-large voting work in the West Indirs?
Let us look at Montserrat first.  Section 48 of the Montserrat Constitution provides for the Legislative Assembly of Montserrat.  All it says is as follows:
48.—(1) The Legislative Assembly shall consist of nine elected members and two ex officio members, namely the Attorney-General and the Financial Secretary.
The Montserrat Constitution does not say how representatives are to be elected.  It leaves that to be set out in the elections statute.  The only constitutional restriction is that there shall be exactly nine (9) elected members, unless the constitutional provision for increasing the number of representatives is followed.  Under the Montserrat elections statute, there are no districts or constituencies.  Everyone who is a registered voter in Montserrat gets to vote for nine (9) candidates.  If there are twenty (20) candidates, the nine (9) candidates with the highest votes are elected. 
I think we all know the reason for that system being preferred in Montserrat.  After the cataclysmic eruption of 1994, which devastated one half of the island, many of the citizens left to reside in other parts of the world.  Those who remained were obliged to take up residence in the northern half of the island.  They were prohibited by law from residing in the southern part of the island considered too dangerous by the authorities.  They hope this dislocation is temporary, and they will one day be able to return to their homes in the southern half of the island.  But, continuing to vote by district constituency was obviously impossible.  Hence the change of the voting system to one that is entirely at-large.
In the BVI, the Constitution of The Virgin Islands provides for thirteen (13) elected Members of the House of Assembly.  Section 64 makes specific provision for how these 13 members are to be elected.  It reads:
64.—(1) The elected members of the House of Assembly shall be persons qualified for election in accordance with this Constitution and, subject to this Constitution, shall be elected in the manner provided by or under any law for the time being in force in the Virgin Islands.
(2) Subject to section 63(2), for the purposes of elections the Virgin Islands—
(a) shall be a single electoral district and shall return four members to the House of Assembly; and
(b) shall also be divided into nine electoral districts in such manner as may be provided by or under any law for the time being in force in the Virgin Islands, and each such district shall return one member to the House of Assembly.
Thus, section 64 of The Virgin Islands Constitution provides that (until it is changed in the manner provided by the Constitution” nine (9) of the representatives are elected to represent one of the nine (9) electoral districts, and four (4) of them are elected at-large.  That means that in a general election, each voter gets to cast five (5) votes.  First, he or she votes for his or her constituency candidate, and, second, selects four (4) of the candidates who are running at-large.  The four (4) at-large candidates who win the most votes are declared elected. 
You will have realized that The Virgin Islands Constitution specifically provide for voting at-large, but not the Constitution of Montserrat.  The Constitution of Montserrat left that matter to be set out in the elections statute of Montserrat.  What, then, about the Constitution of Anguilla?  Section 35 of the 1982 Constitution of Anguilla provides for our House of Assembly.  It reads:
35. (1) There shall be a House of Assembly for Anguilla.
(2) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Assembly shall consist of—
(a) the Speaker;
(b) two ex-officio members, namely the Attorney-General and the Deputy Governor;
(c) not less than seven members elected in the manner provided by law; . . .
A reading of section 35 immediately reveals that our Constitution, like that of Montserrat, does not make any reference to constituencies or electoral districts or voting at-large.  All it says is that not less than seven (7) members of the House of Assembly are to be elected in the manner provided by law.  The consequence is clear.  The Anguilla House of Assembly is free (after public discussion, and the arrival at a consensus among the political parties) to amend the Anguilla Elections Act to provide for an increase in the number of elected representatives.  Any amending law may at the same time provide for some of them to be elected at-large.  There is no constitutional provision that says that representatives in the Anguilla House of Assembly must all come from electoral districts or constituencies.
We have good precedents we can follow in the shape of the Virgin Islands Elections Act, and the Montserrat Elections Act.  All it takes is the political will to recognise that the Anguilla people are severely underrepresented in the House of Assembly.  Montserrat with a population of less than 6,000 has nine (9) representatives, while Anguilla has only seven (7).  We deserve to have a larger House. 
The undoubted advantages that flow from membership at-large should be enjoyed in Anguilla as it is in The Virgin Islands and in Montserrat.  And, in my opinion, what makes it sweeter is that we do not need to go to London to have the Constitution amended.  Representation in the Anguilla House of Assembly is entirely a local issue, which does not concern the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, so long as any change is made with the consent of the Anguillian people demonstrated in one or more of the traditional ways.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Elections - 4. Candidates for Election

The Question for today is, “Who is qualified to be a candidate to contest an election to the House of Assembly in Anguilla?  The answer is to be found at sections 36 and 37 of the Constitution of Anguilla, 1982. 
Section 36 sets out the basic qualifications for election to be a member of the House of Assembly.  There are two types of persons who are qualified.  Both of them must share certain common qualifications.  First, they must be 21 years of age.  Second, they must be Belongers of Anguilla.  Third, they must be registered to vote in one of the 7 electoral districts in Anguilla.  And, fourth, both types must be domiciled in Anguilla. 
Domicile is often problematic, since it is a subjective thing.  You can easily prove you are resident in a country if you own or lease a property there and occasionally occupy it.  You can be resident in two or more countries at the same time if you have and occasionally occupy a home in each of them.  You can only be domiciled in one place at a time.  At common law, your domicile depends on your intention as to your permanent place of residence.
At common law, domicile is important for your personal status.  A divorce obtained by an Anguillian, who was married in Anguilla, in the Dominican Republic is not recognized in Anguilla unless one of the spouses was domiciled in the Dominican Republic.  If your form of marriage is legal in your country of domicile, then it does not matter if that form of marriage is not known in your country of residence, you are still considered legally married. 
We are all born with a domicile of origin, but we can change it if we move to another country with the intention of permanently residing there.  This is referred to as a domicile of choice.  A child takes the domicile of dependence of its parents, and a married woman at common law takes the domicile of her husband. 
The question of domicile raises so many questions because of its subjective nature at common law that many countries have enacted laws defining what domicile means, for example, for the purpose of imposing taxes.  But, in Anguilla the common law rules still apply, and there is no statutory definition of domicile.
Then, we come to consider the two types of persons who are qualified to be nominated and elected in Anguilla.  The first is a person who is 21 years of age, a Belonger of Anguilla, registered to vote, who was born in Anguilla, and is domiciled here at the date of nomination.  We might call these “born Anguillians”. 
The second type is a person who is 21 years of age, a belonger of Anguilla, registered to vote in Anguilla, and though born outside of Anguilla has resided in Anguilla for a period of not less than 3 years immediately before the date of nomination and is domiciled here at that date, and is the son or daughter of parents at least one of whom was born in Anguilla.  We might call these “first generation descendants of Anguillians.”
Note the difference in the requirement for residence.  A born Anguillian candidate does not have to be residing in Anguilla on the day of nomination for election.  A born Anguillian can be resident in the USA or St Thomas, for example, and can permit his or her name to be put up for election, and only needs to move back to Anguilla if elected.  On the other hand, a descendent of Anguillians cannot be nominated and elected unless he or she has been residing in Anguilla for a period of not less than 3 years immediately before the date of nomination.  But, both must be able to claim to be domiciled in Anguilla if a question is asked.
The essential characteristic you need to accept is that only persons with strong Anguillian connections by blood will be qualified to be elected.  This means that a Kittitian or Jamaican person, no matter how long he or she has lived in Anguilla, and becomes an Anguillian Belonger, will never be able to be elected to the House, no matter how popular he or she is with the voters.  The child of two Kittitian or Jamaican parents, who are belongers of Anguilla, where the child was born in Anguilla, but the parents were not, is also not qualified.  Only the grandchild of foreign born parents can be qualified to be elected.
Section 37 disqualifies certain Anguillians from being nominated or elected to membership of the House of Assembly.  Most of us are familiar with these disqualifications, as they commonly exist in many Commonwealth countries. 
The first category is a person who is by virtue of his own act under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience or adherence to a foreign power of state.  That essentially means any Anguillian who has taken out foreign citizenship is most likely disqualified.  I say only most likely, because it will be necessary for a person who brings an action to disqualify an elected candidate under this head of disqualification to prove that becoming naturalized as citizen of a foreign state as a matter of law placed that Anguillian under acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to the foreign power or state.  You might think it is obvious that if you become a naturalized American or Canadian, you have sworn allegiance to the USA or Canada.  But, the courts have held that it is not automatic.  It is necessary for the person complaining to bring evidence to prove such allegiance or adherence.
The second type of person who is disqualified is a Minister of Religion.  Who is a Minister of Religion?  The Constitution defines a Minister of Religion as either (a) any person in holy orders, or (b) any other person the functions of whose principal occupation include teaching or preaching in any congregation for religious worship.  In Christian churches “holy orders” are the special roles of bishop, priest and deacon, or the sacrament or rite by which candidates are ordained to those orders.  So, a Methodist Minister, or a Baptist pastor, or a Muslim Imam, are not in “holy orders.  But, they are caught by the second branch, if their principal occupation includes teaching or preaching in any congregation for religious worship.  It is probable that a completely retired Methodist Minister or Baptist Pastor or Muslim Imam, who, presumably, no longer teaches or preaches in a congregation, is not disqualified, and can be elected or nominated to Membership of the House of Assembly.
The third type of person who is disqualified is a person who holds or is acting in any “office of emolument” in the service of the Crown.  This means in ordinary language a civil servant or a public servant.  But, the expression is wide enough to include an Anguillian who is, for example, a public servant in another Commonwealth country of which the Queen is head of state, or serving in the armed forces of the United Kingdom.  It probably also includes an Anguillian who is a paid member of an official Commission.  A non-public servant who is a paid election officer, such as a returning officer, would be included.  It would include anyone who holds an office for which he or she has taken an oath of loyalty to the Queen, such as a judge or magistrate.  It does not include any “special adviser” who is appointed by the Chief Minister to be an adviser to government and who is paid by the government.  Nor does it include employees of statutory corporations such as Anglec or the Social Security Board.  These are companies set up by a law of the House of Assembly, and their employees are not legally included in the public service, are not usually subject to “General Orders”, and are privately engaged under a contract of employment.
The remaining categories of person who are disqualified for nominated or elected membership of the House are uncontroversial.  These include undischarged bankrupts, persons certified to be insane or of unsound mind in Anguilla, or under a sentence of death or of imprisonment for more than 12 months in any part of the world, or who has been disqualified by a court in Anguilla because of certain election offences committed by him or her. 
To summarise then, if you are insane and want to run as a candidate for election in Anguilla, make sure you were certified as being insane in a country other than Anguilla.  Foreign certified lunatics are not disqualified from running for election in Anguilla.  But, if you have been convicted and sentenced to a term of imprisonment in a foreign country, you can be nominated and elected only if the offence was for one which is not recognized in Anguilla.  So, if you are convicted and condemned to death in Iraq for not being of the Sunni Muslim faith, you are still able to be elected in Anguilla.  But, if you are convicted and sentenced to 5 years for burglary in New York, you cannot run as a candidate in Anguilla while serving the 5 years.   You have to wait until the term has been spent until you can allow your name to put forward for nomination to be elected in Anguilla.  Then, you won’t have to commit burglary again; we will give you the key to the public purse. 
For the procedure to be followed to nominate your candidate, see 7. Elections – Nominations.

Elections - 3. Objecting to Voters

Revised 27 March 2015
3. OBJECTING TO VOTERS
I hear people say, There are persons who are on the official list of voters who are not qualified.  What can I do to have them removed?  Or, you may hear, “I met Colville Petty in Albert Lake and complained, and he has done nothing!  I have also heard, “I have written to the Attorney-General, and he is ignoring me!  What can I do next?  Now that elections are just around the corner, you hear these types of complaints every day.
The first thing to note is that neither an informal complaint to the Supervisor of Elections, nor a complaint to the Attorney-General, amounts to a valid complaint.  The law sets out a formal procedure that must be followed if a truly valid complaint is to be made about certain persons who should not be on the voters' list.  If persons were able to informally approach an official in Anguilla, and have him remove someone from the voters' list, that would be a terribly unfair thing.
The first line of defence against fraudulent registrations is the institution of the 'scrutineer'.  Each political party is entitled to apply to have its 'scrutineers' appointed to keep a check on who is applying to be on the voters' list for each polling division.  Each party is entitled to one 'scrutineer' for each polling division.  There is a form in the Elections Regulations, that must be completed and submitted to the Registration Officer.  The forms have been available at the Central Electoral Office which is located in the Passport Office in The Valley.  The Registration Officer appoints the official scrutineers.  Each scrutineer must take an oath of office.
The function of a scrutineer is to accompany the enumerator at all times when the enumerator is making house-to-house inquiries.  The scrutineer is not permitted to ask any questions or make any remarks, other than to say, “I represent the . . . . . party.”  The scrutineer takes notes, and, at a later date, the scrutineer can make any objection in the proper form.  If he obstructs the enumerator or any other election officer, he is liable to a fine of $4,000 and to losing his appointment as a scrutineer.
When I used to live in St Kitts in the early 1970s, the list of voters was revised.  I can well remember that when the enumerator came to my home and I went through the procedure for registering for the upcoming elections, there was a scrutineer from both the Labour Party and from the Peoples' Action Movement present.  The two took notes, but did not ask me anything.  I have never known a scrutineer to come to my home in Anguilla with the enumerator when the voters' lists are being revised.  I have no idea whether the political parties or the candidates are sufficiently well organised to be able to appoint scrutineers to accompany the enumerators on their home visits.   This is necessary to protect their candidates and the electoral process from election fraud.  It would be a shame if our politicians do not use this mechanism that works so well in other countries.  Since the last enumeration year of 2008, the scrutineers do not play any role in observing the registration of voters.  Starting 1 January 2009, we have a new process called the continuous registration of voters.  By this process, any person who attains the age of 18 years during the any quarter of any year is entitled to attend during that quarter, at the Central Electoral Office, which is in the Passport Office in The Valley, and apply to be put on the list of voters.  Any person who had been accidentally left off the list of voters could similarly apply at any time. 
No scrutineer would be present to observe what is going on.  However, there is a burden placed on the Electoral Registration Officer to make sure that she checks each application for registration.  Her questioning of applicants to be registered is the first line of defence in the process of continual registration.  The applicant is required to attend personally before her and to be questioned and made to produce evidence of residence and other qualification.  It is not every Anguillian who is entitled to vote in Anguilla.  You have to be a qualified Anguillian, and you must not be a disqualified Anguillian.  So, for example, any Anguillian, who has ever been declared bankrupt in any country, and is still an undischarged bankrupt, is disqualified from voting.
The second line of defence against fraudulent registration of voters is the 'objection'.
Regulation 36 deals with the correct way that one can object to any person who has made a claim to be added to the list of voters.
Notice of objection to claims
36.(3)   After the enumeration year, any person whose name appears on the existing register of voters for an Electoral District may object to the registration of any person whose name is included in the list of claimants prepared in accordance with section 35(2) by delivering or causing to be delivered a notice of objection in Form 23 to the Electoral Registration Officer and a copy of the notice to the person whose claim is being objected to.
(4) A notice under subsection (3) shall be delivered not later than 15 days after the first day of publishing of the quarterly list of voters.
(5) When the Registration Officer or the Electoral Registration Officer, as the case may be, receives a notice of objection under this section, he shall immediately deliver or cause to be delivered a notice in Form 26 to the person in respect of whose claim the notice of objection is given and a notice in Form 27 to the person making the objection.
Any voter in the Electoral District in question may object to the registration of any person whose name is included in the published list of claimants.  Such objection is to be delivered not later than 15 days after the first day of publishing the quarterly list of voters. 
By Regulation 37, the Electoral Officer publishes a list of claims to whose registration notice of objection has been given not later than 16 days after the first day of publishing the quarterly list of voters.  Regulation 38 then provides what is to happen after the Notice of Objection has been given.
Notice of Objection to Registration
38.    (3) After the enumeration year—
(a) any person whose name appears on the existing register of voters last published for an Electoral District, may object to the registration of a person whose name is included on the quarterly list of voters for that Electoral District; or
(b) any person whose name appears on the preliminary list of voters for an Electoral District, may object to the registration of a person whose name is included on that list; by delivering notice of objection in Form 23 to the Electoral Registration Officer.
(4) A notice of an objection referred to in paragraph (3)(a) shall be delivered not later than 10 days after the first day of publishing the quarterly list of voters and a notice of an objection referred to in paragraph (3)(b) shall be delivered not later than 8 days after the first day of publishing the preliminary list of voters.
Regulation 38(3) provides that, for a person whose name has been wrongfully entered on the preliminary list of voters, the same Form 23 must be used to object.  The person objecting must be a person whose name is on the Register for that Electoral District. 
By Regulation 38(4), the notice of objection must be delivered to the Electoral Registration Officer not later than 8 days after the first day of publishing the preliminary list of voters.
The Electoral Registration Officer will then give notice to the person who has been objected to, and will set a date for hearing the objection.  A list of the names that have been objected to will be published for 5 days.  The Electoral Registration Officer will then set a date to hear both parties.  The person objecting and the person objected to must turn up at the hearing and give their evidence as to why they should or should not be on the list.
The Electoral Registration Officer than makes a written decision.
Anyone not satisfied with the ruling on the objection has a right of appeal to the Magistrate.
That is not the end of the opportunities to object.  Regulation 50 provides that at any time between the revision of the preliminary list of voters and nomination day, if the Electoral Registration Officer has any reasonable cause to believe that a name of a person who is not qualified for inclusion appears on the register of voters, she shall hold a special revision to investigate the case, giving 5 days’ notice to the person of the time and place at which the special revision shall take place.  But, no special revision shall be held later than 7 days after nomination day.
Regulation 55 provides that the Registration Officer may, if she thinks it necessary, require any person to produce a certificate of birth or a certificate of belongership or any other evidence, or to make a statutory declaration, respecting his qualification as a voter, as the Registration Officer considers appropriate.  Any person interested is entitled to inspect and to take copies of any such declarations.
Regulation 56 provides that any evidence given before the Registration Officer may, at the request of any person, or on her own initiative, be required to be given on oath.  Any person who makes a false statement on oath is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for 1 year.
Regulation 59 provides that any person who is not qualified to be registered as a voter and who gives any false document or information to the Registration Officer is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for 1 year or to a fine of $10,000, or to both imprisonment and such fine.
That is the procedure for objecting to persons who you are convinced have wrongfully made a claim to be on the list, or who are wrongfully on the list, or who are mis-described.  It is no use meeting the Supervisor of Elections on the street and quarreling with him or her.  It is not a strange or new procedure to us in Anguilla.  We have used it before.
I well remember back in about 1979, when I was the Magistrate of Anguilla, Jeremiah Gumbs of Rendezvous Bay Hotel appealed a decision of the Electoral Registration Officer to the Magistrate's Court.  Somebody had objected to his being on the voters' list because he had become a naturalised US citizen.  He had been born in Anguilla, and had not renounced his British Dependent Territories Citizenship.  He was both a US citizen and a British citizen.  I found that there was nothing wrong with a voter holding two or more citizenships.  I ordered his name restored to the List of Voters. 
From what I hear, I am expecting lots of objection forms to be filed in the process of producing the list of voters this year.  Make sure not to miss the deadline.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Elections - 2. Registering to Vote

Revised 27 March 2015
2. REGISTERING TO VOTE
I have been asked the question, “I am an Anguillian.  General elections are around the corner.  How do I get registered to vote?”  The procedure for getting on the list of voters in Anguilla is governed by the Elections Act and the Elections Regulations.  The question of who is qualified to vote and who is not qualified to vote is governed by the Constitution of Anguilla 1982.  We looked last week at the question of who is entitled to be on the voters' list.  Today, we are going to look at the procedure for getting on the list.  Next week, we shall look at the procedure for objecting to someone who you believe is fraudulently on the list.
The Act and the Regulations were amended during the year 2008.  The revised versions of the Act and the Regulations were published recently, on 2 November 2009.  Those of you who have been relying on the old Act and Regulations need to replace them as soon as possible, because they are out of date and will mislead you.
Sections 11 to 17 of the Act deal with the preparation of the lists of voters.  The 'list of voters' can be the 'first list of voters', or the 'quarterly list of voters' or the 'preliminary list of voters', or the 'official list of voters', or the 'register of voters', as the context or the law requires.  What we want to do is to get onto the 'register of voters' which will be the guiding list at the Polling Station on elections day.  Once we get onto the first list of voters, or a quarterly list of voters after that, we should be okay.
Prior to the year 2008, if we were qualified, and were missing from the list of voters, we could only get added once a year, during a specific period, to the list of voters.  Now, as a result of an amendment to the Elections Act made in the year 2008, we have had continuous registration of voters.  We can apply to be put on the list at any time in the year, once we are qualified.
Since 1 January 2009, quarterly lists of persons who claim to be qualified voters have been prepared and published, and after a due period for any objection to be made, the quarterly list of voters has been published.
Section 12 of the Act, and Regulation 10 of the Regulations, provide for persons qualified to vote, or who would become qualified during the next quarter to apply to the Electoral Registration Officer, to be registered as a voter in his or her Electoral District.
Continuous registration
12. After the enumeration year—
(a) there shall be continuous registration of all persons qualified to be registered as voters under this Act; and
(b) when a person is qualified or will be qualified on the next qualifying date to be registered as a voter in an Electoral District, that person may apply to the Electoral Registration Officer to be registered as a voter in that Electoral District in accordance with this Act and the regulations.
The process of taking applications to be added to the list of voters never ceases.
Section 13 of the Act, and Regulation 13 of the Regulations, set out the law and procedure that govern the preparation of the quarterly lists:
Quarterly lists
13. (I) After the enumeration year, the Electoral Registration Officer shall, not later than the 40th day of every quarter in every succeeding year, prepare a quarterly list of voters for every Electoral District which shall consist of—
(a) persons whose names do not appear on the register of voters or any revised quarterly list for any Electoral District and who have applied to be registered as voters for an Electoral District and who the Electoral Registration Officer has reasonable cause to believe are qualified or will be qualified, on the next qualifying date, to be registered ' as voters in that Electoral District;
(b) persons whose names appear on the register of voters for an Electoral District and who have notified the Electoral Registration Officer of a change in their name, address or occupation but who remain qualified to be registered as voters in that Electoral District; and
(c) persons whose names appear on the register of voters for an Electoral District and who have satisfied the Electoral Registration Officer that they have changed address and are ordinarily resident in another Electoral District.
(2) A person who is qualified to be registered as a voter but whose name does not appear on the register of voters for an Electoral District shall be entitled to be registered on the quarterly list of voters prepared in accordance with subsection (1), upon making application in accordance with this Act and the regulations.
(3) The quarterly lists of voters for every Electoral District shall be revised and published in accordance with the regulations and shall be used to revise the register of voters for that Electoral District in accordance with section 14.
Not later than the 40th day of every quarter, the Electoral Registration Officer is required to prepare a quarterly list of voters for every Electoral District.  This list consists of (a) persons whose names do not appear on the register of voters or any revised quarterly list for any district and who have applied to be registered as voters; and (b) voters who have changed their name, address or occupation but who are qualified to remain registered in that Electoral District; and (c) persons who have changed address and have satisfied the Electoral Registration Officer that they are 'ordinarily resident' in another Electoral District.
A person who is qualified to be registered as a voter, but whose name does not appear on the register of voters for an Electoral District, is entitled to be registered on the quarterly list of voters upon making application on the correct form.
The quarterly lists for every Electoral District are revised and published in accordance with the Regulations, and are used to revise the register of voters for that Electoral District.
Section 14 sets out how the registers are to be prepared every quarter.  Regulation 14 requires that, not later than the 72nd day of every quarter of every succeeding year, the Electoral Registration Officer shall prepare and publish a Preliminary List of Voters for every Electoral District.  These Preliminary Lists, once certified, constitute the register of voters for each Electoral District. 
The Regulations set out the procedure for preparing the Preliminary Lists.  By Regulation 21, the enumerators complete the Preliminary Lists not later than 10 days after the last day of the enumeration period.
The enumerators are required to certify the preliminary lists and to the Registration Officer by a specific date. 
The Registration Officer then prepares 4 printed copies of each list and has them checked by the respective enumerators and certified again.
The Registration Officer then distributes 2 copies of the Certified Preliminary List to each enumerator, sending one copy to the Supervisor of Elections, and keeping the fourth copy for himself or herself.
By a specified number of days after the enumeration period, the enumerator for each Polling Division affixes a certified copy of the preliminary list to 2 buildings in his or her Polling Division.
Section 15 of the Act and Regulation 15 provide that all claims for registration, and all objections to registration, are to be determined by the Registration Officer or Electoral Registration Officer in accordance with the Elections Regulations.
Regulation 27 provides for continuous registration of voters.  After the enumeration year, any person who is qualified to be on the list but who is not registered for the particular Electoral District, may appear in person at the Central Electoral Office and submit an application to be registered.  Similar applications can be made to correct errors in the list.  The Regulation gives the Electoral Registration Officer the power to make inquiries to determine whether the applicant is qualified.
Continuous registration of voters
27.    (1) After the enumeration year, a person—
(a) who is qualified or will be qualified on the next qualifying date to be registered as a voter in an Electoral District and who is not registered on the existing register of voters for that Electoral District:
(b) whose name appears on the existing register of voters for an Electoral District and who has changed his name, address or occupation but who remains qualified to be registered as a voter in that Electoral District; or
(c) whose name appears on the existing register of voters for an Electoral District and who has changed address and is ordinarily resident in an Electoral District other than the one in which he is registered:
may appear in person at the Central Electoral Office and submit to the Electoral Registration Officer an application in Form 9 to be registered on the quarterly list of voters for the relevant Electoral District.
(2) The Electoral Registration Officer may make Inquiries and request and review documents that he considers necessary to determine whether on the next qualifying dale the person referred to in subsection (1) is qualified or will be qualified to be registered as a voter in an Electoral District.
(3) When the Electoral Registration Officer is satisfied that the person referred to in subsection (1) is qualified or will be qualified on the next qualifying date to be registered as a voter in an Electoral District, the Electoral Registration Officer shall give to the person a certificate of provisional registration in Form 12.
(4) The Electoral Registration Officer shall enter on the quarterly list of voters for the relevant Electoral District, the name, address and occupation of a person lo whom a certificate of provisional registration was given under subsection (3).
The Regulation requires that the applicant must appear in person.  No politician or their campaign assistants can fill out the forms, have the applicant in St Maarten or St Thomas sign the form, obtain a photocopy of the passport, and bring the forms in to the Central Electoral Office.  The person applying to be put on the list of voters must come in personally, allow the Electoral Registration Officer to satisfy himself that the person appearing before him, and signing the form before him, is the same person as the person in the passport.  This is not doubt meant to make it difficult, if not impossible, for electoral fraud to occur in this continuous registration procedure.
When the Electoral Registration Officer is satisfied that the person is qualified, or will be qualified on the next qualifying date to be registered as a voter, he or she shall give the applicant a certificate of provisional registration.  The name, address, and occupation of the applicant are then entered on the Quarterly List of Voters for the relevant Electoral District.
Section 16 of the Act is an important section in connection with these time lines.  The section provides a procedure to be followed, if time for anything needs to be extended, or if there was any error or irregularity in matter of form that needs to be validated.  The Governor in Council is empowered to make a Regulation extending the time or validating the irregularity.  However, the Regulation does not take effect until it is approved by a resolution of the House of Assembly.
So, in conclusion, whenever the Chief Minister calls elections in any particular year, the Register of Roters will be the previous List of Voters, plus those who applied to be listed, and were entered on a preliminary list, and which lists were duly certified and published.