22,559 voters registered for Feb. 26 snap election

POND ISLAND–The fate of St. Maarten will be in the hands of 22,559 voters come election day, February 26, 2018. That number can increase if other Dutch citizens petition the Court of First Instance for addition to the Voters Registry which was closed on Dec. 6.

  The current voter count for the snap parliamentary election puts the allocation of a seat in the 15-member Parliament to 1,503 votes based on a 100 per cent voter turnout.

  The voter count represents an increase of 257 persons compared to the 22,302 registered for the snap election of September 26, 2016. That increase is related to three factors – Dutch citizens coming of age (18 being the legal age to vote), Dutch citizens from other parts of the kingdom moving to St. Maarten and long-time residents opting for naturalisation.

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  Of those registered to vote last year, only 14,596 actually cast a ballot. They represented 65 per cent of the voting population. The seat quota ended up being 947 votes.

  The next milestone to the upcoming elections is Nomination Day, January 5.

  The container housing voting bins and other election equipment was blown away by Hurricane Irma. Government has ordered new bins and other materials and they are expected to arrive by the end of January, caretaker Prime Minister Rafael Boasman said on Wednesday.

  The Post Office will not be the main source to distribute voting cards for this election. The Central Voting Bureau will establish “sub-bureaux” in the districts for card retrievals. Leftover cards will be handled by the Post Office. Voters who do not receive a card can get a one from the Civil Registry Department starting three days prior to the election.

  “The preparations are ongoing and all is going well,” said Boasman who, in his capacity as Justice Minister, will issue election campaign guidelines for all parties to adhere to.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/72097-22-559-voters-registered-for-feb-26-snap-election

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