Parliamentary Registration Department (PRD) Assistant Commissioner (APC) Reno Smith in collaboration with Cecil Thompson, PRD Consultancy Team Manager held a press briefing on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 updating the Grand Bahama community of significant changes to the Voter’s Cards Distribution Process, as time winds down to the ringing of the bell of the Bahamas General Elections 2017.
Approximately 32,000 Grand Bahamians residing within the five constituencies East Grand Bahama, Pineridge, Marco City, Central Grand Bahama and West Grand Bahama & Bimini are eligible to vote in the upcoming 2017 Bahamas General Elections and according to APC Smith more than 25,000 persons thus far have registered.
“Effective Thursday, March 16 at 9:00 a.m. there will be a significant change in the distribution of Voter’s Cards throughout the island.
“Thousands of persons have collected their Voter’s Card to date and the Parliamentary Registration Department would like to make it much easier for those who still have to collect their cards to do so, hence PRD officers and consultancy agents would retain the Post Office, Downtown for general deliveries,” revealed APC Smith.
“Voter’s Cards would be taken to the areas where persons initially registered to be collected, as primarily for the first two weeks, the PRD wanted the cards to be delivered from the General Post Office, Downtown because we anticipated a few bumps along the way due to misinformation.
“Persons collecting Voter’s Cards should do their best to ensure a thorough examination of their card is conducted immediately upon receiving it, therefore, if any inaccuracies are discovered, which must be corrected each one would be addressed post haste at the Parliamentary Registration Department by simply walking across the street to the NIB Building 2nd floor, Downtown, Freeport.”
Additionally, APC Smith revealed that as a result of the distribution of Voter’s Cards being taken to the where persons initially registered, the Parliamentary Registration staff will now be fully available for Special Mobile Registration, which deals specifically with individuals who may be confined to a bed, wheelchair or at any of the senior citizen homes throughout the Grand Bahama community.
Encouraging loved ones and caretakers of such persons to contact the Parliamentary Registration Department immediately in an effort for staff to ensure that scheduled house visits do occur, APC Smith advised the public to kindly contact the office by telephoning 352-9185/6 assuring all necessary arrangements would be made for all Bahamian individuals requiring the specialized service.
“We do not want any Baha-mian to be disenfranchised for this ensuing election, hence arrangements are commencing for PRD officers to visit all houses, retired senior citizens’ homes to register those very special pearls,” said APC Smith.
Brenda Bullard-Colebrook, West Grand Bahama Senior Deputy Administrator and PRD Consultancy Member and Retired Local Government Director and Administrator for the City of Freeport Alexander Williams were also on-hand for the press briefing and urged eligible voters who have not yet registered to avail themselves of the services of the PRD Voter Registration Centers in order to exercise their constitutional right to register and vote in the 2017 Bahamas General Elect-ions.
“To date we are continuing to ask persons who have not yet registered to please come out to the various centers making yourselves available to do just that so you can participate freely in the upcoming 2017 Bahamas General Elections.
“Additionally, we are now distributing Voter’s Cards within the West Grand Bahama District at the Administrator’s Office, Jones Town, Eight Mile Rock between the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for persons residing in the Polling Division 2 for the Central Grand Bahama constituency, Polling divisions 5 through 14 in the West Grand Bahama & Bimini constituency and Polling Divisions 1, 2, 3 at Mary Magdalene Parish Hall, West End beginning 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
“We have been successful in issuing a number of cards however there remains more to be collected hence we are urging all persons to come out and retrieve your Voter’s Cards,” admonished Administrator Bullard-Colebrook, who also noted that Voter’s Cards would be made available at St. Stephen’s Parish Hall for persons living in that particular area to collect their cards between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
She stressed that it is very important that for persons to come out and do so, as it is the only way that one would be able to physically review their card and ensure that the necessary information is correct.
Should an individual discover that corrections are required, Administrator Bullard-Colebrook advised that those can be made immediately; and once again she advocated for those who have not yet registered to grasp the opportunity to do so now by encouraging all to take full advantage of this opportunity.
Both the Parliamentary Registration Department officers and PRD Consultancy Team continue to work diligently to bring the necessary services to the eligible Grand Bahamian Electorate by spreading out the distribution centers throughout the Grand Bahama community, noted PRD Consultant Williams, who encouraged residents to pay close attention to the local print, television and radio news media for Voter Registration-/Parlia-mentary Registration Distribu-tion Centers collection times within the five constituencies of East Grand Bahama, Pineridge, Marco City, Central Grand Bahama and West Grand Bahama & Bimini.
PRD Consultancy Team Manager Thompson commended all team members for their outstanding work to ensure every effort continues to be exhausted to make Voter Registration and Voter’s Card Collection “convenient, readily accessible and easy” therefore, no one would have an excuse not to make their ballot count.
Per capita Grand Bahama has surpassed many other constituencies in The Bahamas and according to APC Smith, “Nationwide Grand Bahama is in the top seven constituencies with the most registered voters.
“There is just one of Grand Bahama’s five constituencies that lags behind in terms of registered voters however, we are working on that area to encourage an interest and increase in eligible voters taking advantage of exercising their constitutional democratic right in this regard.
“We want to again encourage all and sundry to come in, avail yourselves of these last few weeks to register.
“Please note that the Special Mobile Registration is anticipated to climax within the final two weeks of March.
“The Voter’s Cards are very important and must be used to vote only in the polling division in which you are registered so please ensure that you are properly prepared to do so and secure it as it’s a legal document which must be safeguarded.
“We are extremely grateful to those who would have availed themselves of the service provided by the PRD, registering and collecting Voter’s Cards and ensuring the necessary amendments are made if inaccuracies were discovered.
“Again for all queries please contact the Parliamentary Registration Department.”
Published Thursday, March, 16, 2017