The Elections and Boundaries Department has announced the date for nomination for all those people wishing to contest the March 7th municipal election. Nomination Day has been set for Wednesday February 15th, two days prior to nomination for general elections which has been set for Friday February 17th. So far there are three known mayoral candidates and fourteen councilor candidates that have indicated their desire to contest the municipal elections. Contesting the general elections are at least four candidates who seek to represent the Belize Rural South Constituency.

According to Alberto August, Chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission, nominations for municipal elections will take place between 10AM to 4PM at the San Pedro Town Council Office. While there has been no confirmation, it is expected that after a meeting with all candidates, the norm will be set which sees the main opposition, People’s United Party candidates nominated first in the morning followed by independent candidates. The incumbent United Democratic Party candidates are expected to be the last to get nominated in the afternoon. Each candidate will be nominated by two registered voters from Belize Rural South. The similar drill is expected for all nominations for general elections.

Belize Rural South voters registered as residents of Ambergris Caye will get to vote twice in both municipal and general elections at Polling Station #37 at the San Pedro High School. Voters registered as residents of Caye Caulker Village and Caye Chapel vote once; only in the general election at the Polling Station #38 located at the Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School.

In speaking to The San Pedro Sun, Chairman Alberto August explained that voters at Polling Station #37 will vote first for general elections (Standard Bearer) and then proceed to vote for municipal election (Town Council) at the same location. August also explained that he expects that ballots for both elections will be counted at Polling Station #37 after the ballots from Caye Caulker Village arrive. Ballots for the two elections will be counted simultaneously in separate rooms. All ballot boxes for municipal elections will be counted together at the same time, similarly to that of general elections.

August took the opportunity to advise electors who have registered to vote but have not yet gotten their Voter Registration Card to visit the office where they registered and pick up their card. August explained that if new electors have lost the receipt given to them upon registration, they may still pick up their card. If possible, those electors could take in some other form of picture identification; however it is not necessary.

During the election process, no kind of electronic device or personal computers/laptops will be allowed within the 100 yard limit. August emphasized that no kind of image capturing device will be allowed inside the polling station, and the Election Day workers will be observant for suspicious activities during the polling process. Electors are also advised that it is an offense under the Representation of the People’s Act, Chapter 9 of the laws of Belize for any voter to walk out of a polling station with an officially issued ballot.

San Pedro Sun