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Persons arriving in St. Vincent and the Grenadines after this Saturday, Oct. 31, will not be permitted to vote in next Thursday’s general elections.

“The reason being is that there is a mandatory five-day quarantine at a hotel [approved] by the government, so that once you come in after the 31st of this month, you have to be in quarantine and you will not be permitted to break that quarantine so that you can vote,” opposition politician Kay Bacchus-Baptiste said Thursday night.

Bacchus-Baptiste, a lawyer and the New Democratic Party’s candidate for West St. George, has been interfacing with electoral officials as political parties and the election chief hammer out issues related to conducting the polls amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

She told an NDP virtual public meeting Thursday night that registered voters who enter the country before Oct. 31 will be permitted to vote, even if they are still in quarantine but only if they have completed the mandatory five-day quarantine at a hotel and are self-quarantining at home.

“… the health authorities and the Supervisor of Elections have decided that they will give a special pass for these persons to vote between 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.”

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She, however, added that persons have asked how is such a voting period possible, given that the law says that voting must end by 5 p.m.

“Well, they are going to have to pass some sort of regulation and amend the Representation of the People Regulation to permit this,” Bacchus-Baptiste said.

“I think the Attorney General is well aware of this and is working on something.”

The politician further said that persons have questioned how this is possible, in light of the fact that Parliament is prorogued.

Only parliament can amend the RPA and Bacchus-Baptiste said that what the government would amend is the regulations under the law, adding that in some circumstances, Cabinet may still meet and make regulations.

“But, the regulations must not offend the offences [under] the RPA,” she said.

“So that if persons are being brought in by planeloads for the purpose of voting, that can be regarded as treating and that will be an offence. If persons, just on their own, come into St. Vincent, then that is not treating and they can go to vote,” she said.

Election treating occurs when an election candidate or their agents offer material incentives for people to vote for them or to abstain from voting.

Bacchus-Baptiste said that the protocol is that persons who are in quarantine but permitted to vote can get themselves from their home to their various polling stations.

They will still be required to vote in the polling stations at which they are registered.

The number of such persons is not yet known.

“But it may be somewhere around the hundreds,” Bacchus-Baptiste said.

She added:

“A list is to be handed to the Supervisor of Elections by the health authorities and all the persons who are 18 and above and who are on the list and eligible to vote, a list will be made of them and this list should be — and we will make sure that that it is — circulated to all the stakeholders, including the political parties, so that we will know beforehand who these people are and if there are any challenges to be made, we can make these challenges.”    

3 replies on “Voting not permitted for persons arriving in SVG after Saturday”

  1. Is this not unconstitutional? Preventing people from voting because they are in quarantine is total BS. The Government have to find some way of getting these people to their respective polling stations.

    I am surprised Mrs Bacchus- Baptiste and the NDP are not objecting to such a policy that clearly disenfranchised voters. What, are we now taking a page out of Trump’s play book of voters suppression.

  2. Ms , Head of Health Protection.

    If we are monitoring Covid -19 and arrival time and placing people in 5 days isolation we must start 24hr a Day time period from the time returning Nationals and Visitors and not on the day they arrived.

    This is a Medical Observation Time and not a political Xploitation. (Ex)

    Do not circumvents our health over a few votes Ms Director of Health or You been use as a Cover by Dr Ralphie I get you, for political expediency.

    Ms, please avoid blood. on your hand professional along with your integrity.

    You already faced some criticism for protecting The Ministry Of Death run by Dishonorable Luke Brown,.

    I hope your judgement is right but if anyone who is allows to vote or come out before the time and spread that virus, your head will be like a rotten tomatoes.

    Please save your family names and let the ULP fan their own fire.

    My two cents

  3. My Calliaqua man. Simple put living in Diaspora is far Reality in SVG.
    In SVG we cannot tell who is Rich or Poor basr on type of houses and Vehicles they have but if you get Print Out from the Banks, The Credit Unions, Courts Department Store, Ots, Singers and Business Houses. Under the NDP Government such was not the case because they Target the Welfare of the above first before Statue and Edifices which He connot even maintain.
    This may give us a. Litte pride too our people yes , as when speaking to foreign Vincies but home is Hungry and desperate people with all the Sacrifices and promises of a better livelihood never materialise by the populist only hand full of friends and echelons in (upper Class.)

    Vaughn , my Calliaquaman all that seems as gold. Which is cover in gold paper is not real.

    Why is SVG paying the highest Tax in Regions?
    Why are paying the highest Electricity in Regions?

    Why are getting smallest Salary in Regions.?

    Why are highest rate for Water?

    Toney I heard once to as for seat in NY. Please tell me from all that Ralph had do to SVG from no ACCOUNTABILITY to take our Tax moneies to ULP machinery where will he be?
    Why SVG have the highest communication Taxes in Regions? Haitian paying far less than us)

    Why our flight Tax was the highest in Regions?
    Why are been Double Tax by our Government Custom Taxes and Vat?

    Why there is a long lines at money gram and western Union and now Money Apps in SVG?

    Why is our Government sell out our indigenous Lands to foreigner to rise money?

    Why is Ralphie milking the NIS a have clients to wait years before.they claim.?

    Why this Government borrowing monies all the world to finance what we do not know all fall under bad management.

    Vaughn this non align with any political party but when thru three four Government I can state that the NDP under Sir James SVG was Financial and Globally Sound.

    The strong foundation of SVG economy stated under NDP along with regional and International trade tell Mr Toney where is it today?
    The Tourist and Tourism was the bread basket for us in Calliaqua and surrounding areas .
    We had Butler, CSY Yachting, Steven Yatcching and many high Taxes they located in Grenada and ST.Lucia from this poor Administration.
    For all the years Calliaqua was the Head Quarter Labour Party even elected foreigner who goes by the label Labour when knows that wolf in sheep’s clothing. The two worse political enemies in SVG Politic was Cato and Ralph Tell me something to feel about for Calliaqua and East ST.George that Ralph and his did that tranfer the livelihood of the people. Only again from. My observation is NDP and Louis Jones.
    Places Choppins, fair hall, glen and etcs not shining object like the hall in Calliaqua that took about 12yr to complete total disrespect to us but remember Calliaqua was Cato dwellings place.

    SVG is sinking by this Captain all he is doing is changing Uniform but the ship not going anywhere,! Sir as a Business man you will already fire Ralphie.

    Vaugh I hope you will return to us Calliaqua people some Representation.
    My to cent to my home boy. Love one family.

    Please my leave my grammatical errors alone.thanks

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