How to check if you’re registered to vote
File photo, courtesy iStock.
All Trinidad and Tobago citizens are eligible to vote in the upcoming General Election and will be required to register their names on the electoral list.
According to the Representation of the People Act: ‘No person shall be entitled to vote at a polling station for any polling division unless his registration record appears in the unit register of electors for that polling division or his name appears on the revised list of electors for that polling division, or subject to rule 64(2) his name is included on the revised list of electors for that polling station.’
Here are 10 things to know about registering to vote according to the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC):
1. How to tell if you can vote
According to the Representation of the People Act, the following people can qualify as electors at a Municipal Council election including:
- Trinidad and Tobago citizens over 18, who resided in an electoral district or constituency for at least two months before the qualifying date.
- Commonwealth citizens over 18 who legally resided in Trinidad and Tobago for at least one year and have resided in an electoral district/constituency for at least two months prior to the qualifying date.
- Non-Commonwealth citizens over 18 who resided legally in Trinidad and Tobago for at least five years and have resided in an electoral district/constituency for at least two months prior to the qualifying date.
Note: Non-Commonwealth Citizens are only eligible to vote in City or Borough elections within Trinidad. They cannot vote in Parliamentary or Tobago House of Assembly elections.
What’s a qualifying date?
Qualifying date" means the ninth day after the date fixed as the date of commencement of an electoral registration by Proclamation issued under section 30.
2. Who isn’t allowed to vote?
Under the provisions of the Act, the following people are not allowed to vote:
1. Someone who is mentally ill as defined by the Mental Health Act.
2. Anyone on ‘death row’ or issued a death sentence in any part of the Commonwealth, or anyone imprisoned for over 12 months, or anyone under a death sentence or imprisonment which was suspended.
3. Anyone who was convicted of an electoral offence.
Note: No person, other than a person referred to in section 13(1)c, is qualified to remain registered as an elector if he ceases to be a Commonwealth citizen.
3. How do I check to see if I’m on the list?
The EBC has launched an online search engine which allows voters to confirm that they are registered to vote.
Visit the site here: https://www.ebctt.com/electoral-process/registration-look-up/
The information includes the relevant polling station where you must go to cast your vote.
Registered persons whose names appear on the list of electors are entitled to vote in national elections using their ID Cards as the means of identification.
4. I’m registered but can’t find my ID card, can I still vote?
According to the EBC, once the elector’s name is on the voter’s list and he/she has a valid ID card that person is allowed to vote. No checking of the Unit Register is required hence, the voting process can be completed in a short time.
A person CAN vote without having an ID card once his/her name is on the voter’s list however, the Unit Register MUST be checked and once that persons registration records is located a comparison is made with the photo on the REGISTRATION RECORDS in order to verify the prospective voter.
Thereafter, the elector is required affirmation (Form No. 53 – Oath of Elector without Identification Card). The information is subsequently recorded o the poll card and the polling station diaries.
For more information, visit the EBC’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section here: https://www.ebctt.com/faqs/