Chief councilor lauded for voter registration exercise

Residents are pictured waiting patiently to be registered on Saturday

Parliamentary Registration Department APC Reno Smith praised City of Freeport Local Government Chief Councilor Frazette Gibson for conducting a Voter Registration Drive this past Saturday (January 7) beginning 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Britannia Plaza (Stop ‘n’ Shop), Carvel Beach.


With The Bahamas’ General Election looming near and over 32,000 Grand Bahamians 18 years old and older eligible to exercise their constitutional right to vote, APC Smith revealed that the voter drive proved to be quite successful, as more than 130 persons from throughout the community participated.


Proud to aid in the voter registration process Chief Councilor Gibson noted, “Indeed the partnership struck between the City of Freeport Local Government Council and the Parliamentary Registration Department has yielded great success, as APC Smith revealed that by far the single largest group of eligible registrants turned out to register to-date.


“Thirty-two thousand Grand Bahamians are expected to vote in the upcoming General Election and with over 130 persons registering at the Britannia Plaza (Stop ‘n’ Wash) on Saturday past, it clearly indicates that certainly we are growing and improving, as a people, who value our constitutional and democratic birthright which personally, I believe should be commended.”


Confident that once consistent and concerted efforts are exercised to take voter registration to the Bahamian Electorate particularly where they live and work, Chief Councilor Gibson expressly believes the number of those registering would increase significantly.


Ensuring that the Bahamian Electorate gains a better understanding of the democratic process and the importance of not only registering to vote in the upcoming Bahamas General Elections but also exercising that constitutional right is critical noted Chief Councilor Gibson, who intends to work with the Parliamentary Registration Department to conduct another Voter Registration Drive in the community.


“Once again I am proud to state that I have made it my mission to ensure that another Voter Registration Drive is carried out within the Grand Bahama community.


“Certainly, as times change, I believe we have to implement new methods of registering eligible Bahamian voters as well as ensure that each registrant is educated on the importance of voting and electing individuals willing to serve in the governance of The Bahamas in a manner befitting its citizenry to do so, as it is our a right fought for by our forefathers,” declared Chief Councilor Gibson.


APC Smith, who commended Chief Councilor Gibson for the flawless organization and execution of the Voter Registration Drive at Britannia Plaza (Stop ‘n’ Shop), Carvel Beach encouraged other Local Government representatives and business owners to follow the example set.


The Parliamentary Registration Department according to APC Smith appreciates the support Chief Councilor Gibson has been able to galvanize throughout the Grand Bahama community as it relates to ensuring Bahamians 18 years old and older, who are eligible to vote to register and exercise their constitutional right, which is key to the democratic process of The Bahamas.


“Prior to the Christmas holidays, just over 10,000 persons registered to vote, which represent one-third of the eligible voting population on the island of Grand Bahama.


“Since the holidays have past an additional 2,000 persons have registered and for that the Parliamentary Registration Department is pleased.


“On a daily basis, Parliamentary Registration Department, which is located on the Second floor National Insurance Board (NIB) Building, Downtown has been bombarded with persons coming into register and all officers are working feverishly to ensure that all and sundry go through the process without being disenfranchised.


“The Parliamentary Registration Department is opened to the public beginning 9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. daily and 5:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. nightly for voter registration and we encourage all who have not yet registered to come in and do so.


“Today (January 10, 2017), we the Bahamian people are celebrating Majority Rule Day, which came about as a result of the patriarchs and matriarchs of this archipelagic nation fighting for our right to not only register to vote but also to engage in the voting process thereby electing a government by its citizens so the people have a voice in affecting how we are governed in every sphere of our lives,” said APC Smith, who went onto declare, “It is very important that all Bahamians know their history, which would provide them with a clear understanding and appreciation of the significance and importance of engaging in this national exercise.


“Personally, I cannot understand for whatever reason why Bahamians would declare that they are not interested in voting however, when we recognize our history and the struggle of our forefathers, who fought for this right then I believe they would undoubtedly register and vote.”


Both APC Smith and Chief Councilor Gibson noted that The Bahamas has one of the most stable democratic political practices in the Caribbean region hence no one should take the process lightly particularly as around the world persons are dying to engage in this privilege too many Bahamians take for granted.


APC Smith expressly stressed, “Personally, I do not mind which political organization an eligible voter supports however, I encourage all to come to the Parliamentary Registration Department, register and then decide who he or she is going to vote for once the date is given to do just that.


“The Parliamentary Registration Department prior to the Christmas holidays conducted mobile voter registration drives at Jack Hayward Senior High School and Eight Mile Rock High School for teachers, custodial and support staff as well as students, who would have attained the legal age of 18 years old (first time voters) to exercise their Constitutional birthright by taking advantage of the mobilized service provided.


“We intend to organize other mobile voter registration drives at other government senior high schools in the city of Freeport and in addition to that the Parliamentary Registration Department will reach out to private senior high schools to have their students who would have attained the legal age of 18 years old (first time voters) to register.” 


For further information regarding Voter Registration at the Parliamentary Registration Department all are advised to contact the office at 352-9185/6, 351-9400 or 352-4289 or send a facsimile (fax) to 352-9182 as well as email


Published  Wednesday, January 11, 2017 

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