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Election Basics 2019
CANDIDATES

A total of 35 candidates were nominated to contest the election including 8 women and 27 men. Four parties will be contesting the elections. The People’s Democratic Movement (PDM), now led by Paul Lewis is fielding seven candidates, and the Movement for Change and Prosperity (MCAP) led by Joseph Easton Taylor-Farrell has a full slate of nine.  The Montserrat National Congress (MNC) led by Dr Lowell Lewis has three candidates and the Montserrat United Labour Party (MULP) led by Peter Queeley has five. Queeley was previously the chairman of the MCAP.

BALLOT PAPER

The Ballot Paper contains the photographs of the candidates to assist voters in identifying each candidate. By mutual agreement the pictures of the incumbent Movement for Chance and Prosperity (MCAP) are presented against a yellow background, and those of People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) are against a red background.  The three candidates in the Alliance of Independence Candidates (AIC) are against a green background, and the other 10 independent candidates will on a white ground. In all cases, the photographs for identification for all 31 candidates will appear on the ballot in alphabetical order based on surnames.

OPENING AND CLOSING OF THE POLLS

The polling stations open at 7:00bam and close at 6:00bpm.

Each voter will be permitted to vote for nine (9) persons to sit in the Legislative Assembly.

VOTING REQUIREMENTS AND PROCESS

The law requires that voters bring some form of identification with you to the polling station where you will be asked to state your name address and occupation. This document could be a passport, driver’s licence or social security card. If a potential voter does not have any identification, another voter or the person presiding can vouch for the fact that person is the one whose name is on the Voters’ list and the person will be allowed to vote.

Before giving you the Ballot the Presiding Officer (PO) will have the Poll Clerk record the number which is on the back ballot and on the Counterfoil. This is an administrative requirement. He or she will then instruct the voter as follows:

1. Vote by placing an “X” in the space provided opposite to the names of the Candidates for whom you wish to vote.

2. Return the Ballot to me folded so that I can see my Initials in the box at the top but NOT the names of the persons for whom you voted. The secrecy of your vote is sacred as far as we are concerned.

3. Mark your “X” using the black lead pencil provided in the booth.

4. The Presiding Officer will then take off the Counterfoil without opening the Ballot and place in box on the table through an aperture and the Poll clerk will enter “Voted” against your name in the poll book.

If by chance a voter makes a mistake while marking their ballot they can return it to the PO who will write SPOILT across it, place it in an envelope and give a fresh one.

Note also that provision is made for voters who are unable for whatever reason, to mark their ballots whether through poor eyesight or some infirmity. A friend can assist if he or she is prepared to swear or affirm not to reveal for whom the person voted.

WHO ARE ALLOWED IN THE POLLING STATION?

The voters of course, the electoral officers, the agents of candidates who are not really allowed to take part in the proceedings except perhaps to raise objections to any seemingly illegal action, can be in the station. Candidates can enter to speak briefly with their agents, and are not allowed to canvas votes within 100 yards of the station.

The Returning Officer and Supervisor can obviously enter and Governor has been authorised to visit, as well as four Observers from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. Candidates are no longer allowed inside the booth to see how someone who is incapacitated votes, unless one is doing so as a friend.

COUNTING OF THE BALLOTS

Counting for the 2019 election takes place at the Montserrat Cultural Centre and the nine candidates with the leading scores will be declared duly elected provided they have each secured at least six per cent of the votes cast, meaning the valid ballots.

Key
MCAP = Movement for Change and Prosperity; MNC = Montserrat National Congress; MULP = Montserrat United Labour Party; PDM = People's Democratic Movement; IND = Independent Candidate; *incumbent; ** Political Leader
Sources

 Source: http://www.themontserratreporter.com/statement-by-the-supervisor-of-elections/

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