The Parliamentary Registration Department (PRD) announced that in addition to the nine Voters Registration Centers, teams were set up at various locations on Grand Bahama to help make the voting registration process more convenient.
This initiative began on Thursday, February 9.
Officials shared this information, during a press conference at the Administrator’s Office in the Regency Centre on Wednesday (February 8).
Cecil Thompson, Consultant of the PRD said that those teams would be in areas such as the Port Lucaya Marketplace, five days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Teams were also at Solomon’s in the Sea Horse Plaza and on Queens Highway, Cost Right, Sawyer’s Fresh Market on Thursday, and would be there again on Friday and Saturday (February 10 and 11) 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
He noted that there was also a team at the Medical Pavilion, registering all of the eligible employees and patients.
According to Thompson, since voter registration started, things have been going well and many people have come to register.
Thompson revealed that up to this point, he learned that around 17,000 persons have registered.
Many of which utilized the nine centers available on the island.
Those centers include the Christian Education Centre at the Pro-Cathedral of Christ the King, Hugh Campbell Primary School, St Georges’ Senior High School, Walter Parker Primary School, Jack Hayward Senior High School, Maurice Moore Primary School, Hawksbill Community Development Centre (formerly Hawksbill High School) St. Stephen’s Parish Hall, along with the Administrator’s Office in Eight Mile Rock, and the Mary Magdalene Parish Hall, West End.
Thompson furthered that registration begun on January 9, 2017.
“That one day we were successful in registering a total of 90-something persons, but because of some challenges we were obliged to stop. So, for the next two weeks we didn’t do anything,” he said.
Thompson added that they began again on January 23. He expressed his gratitude to the centers that allowed the department to use the facilities, as well as the Bahamians who registered.
Island Administrators were also present at this press conference and they shared updates from their respective districts.
Brenda Colebrooke, Senior Deputy Administrator for the West Grand Bahama District reported that voter registration in that region is moving along steadily.
“We are now operating as Mr. Thompson indicated in the center at St. Stephen’s, five days a week from 9:00 a.m. to about 4:30 in the afternoon,” she said.
Additionally, there is a center opened in the West Grand Bahama Administrator’s Office, the former clinic building from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
“We are very eager to provide this service, so I urge any group of persons who may be so well organized if they wish to make a request of us and they would want us to come to a particular place and assist them in this service we would be more than happy to do so,” she said.
Alexander Williams, Retired Director of Local Government and consultant with the PRD spoke on behalf of the East Grand Bahama District.
Williams said that he consulted with East Grand Bahama Administrator Harvey Roberts, who informed him that registration in the East has also been going well.
“Registration at the Administrator’s Office continues on a daily basis and also at nights from 5:00 until 9:00,” he said.
Williams noted that Roberts informed him that on a weekly basis they plan to travel to Sweetings Cay and conduct registration there.
Preston Cunningham, Family Island Administrator for Freeport shared that the main goal is to ensure that every eligible Bahamian is afforded the opportunity to register.
He also stressed the importance of registering to vote as soon as possible.
“I must remind Bahamians that this is the month of February, time is flying, very little time left to register,” he said.
He encouraged all Bahamians ages 18 and over to take advantage of the centers, noting that he looks forward to witnessing them doing so.
Williams added that because it is known that elections might be held in May, eligible Bahamians should register quickly.
Thompson added that individuals would only take a few minutes to be registered; however, the more persons waiting to be registered at a center the longer the process would seem.
“That is the window that we have to work with, so we are always very cognizant of that fact, that is why we have extended ourselves,” he said.
Thompson took the opportunity to thank the local media for providing information to the public for voter registration.
“We would have done our best informing the schools, the churches, and the business houses,” he said.
Bahamians 18 and over going to register must bring their passports, birth certificates and all other supporting documents. Affidavits would not be accepted unless they are to correct typographical errors on other documents, because they do not confirm citizenship.
Published Friday, February 10, 2017