Amendments to the Parliamentary Elections Act would empower the parliamentary commissioner to establish polling stations outside The Bahamas and allow for early voting for a wider range of Bahamians.
Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham introduced the bill in Parliament yesterday.
The bill contains a broad spectrum of amendments and changes aimed at streamlining the voting process. Under the new legislation, polling places would be established outside the country at Bahamian embassies and high commissions.
The parliamentary commissioner would also be empowered to appoint a public officer as the presiding officer for each overseas polling place. Bahamians eligible to vote outside the country would include students, staff of Bahamian embassies, high commission or other foreign missions of The Bahamas posted overseas, their spouses or members of their immediate family residing with them.
Public officers or Ministry of Tourism staff on official duty outside of the country and staff of the Bahamas Maritime Authority or any other agency of the government would also be eligible to vote outside of the country.
The bill would also provide for each party and each independent candidate to authorize one person to act as election agent at each overseas polling place.
Voting would take place on the same day as the advanced poll and at the end of that poll the sealed ballot box would be returned to The Bahamas and delivered to the parliamentary commissioner.
Full Article: The Nassau Guardian.