Learning how to vote


Tribune Staff Reporter


A YOUTH organisation is taking steps to prepare prospective first time voters for the civic responsibility of casting a ballot in the upcoming general election.

With last month marking the official start of voter registration for the 2017 general election, Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP) Bahamas President and CEO Delano Munroe, and other sponsored presenters, on Saturday oversaw the training of more than 100 students from nine YEP district centres and 26 schools to be effective leaders in their various communities.

The student officers were trained in management, finance, administration, public relations and programme policies.

“These students were nominated among their peers and elected during a mock election where each district provided election officers, ballots, ink, ballot box and returning officers,” Mr Munroe told The Tribune yesterday.

“Students were allowed to campaign and solicit support. This process is a part of the YEP curriculum and our objective is to ensure that this generation of leaders are properly informed of the processes and procedures of a general election. This process gave them the opportunity to properly vet the individual candidates who offered themselves for office,” he added.

In September, Parliamentary Commissioner Sherlyn Hall told The Tribune that he expects up to 20,000 new registrants this cycle.

Mr Hall said this is because more Bahamian youth have reached the voting age of 18, coupled with an overall growth of the country’s population.

Voter registration began on October 5 throughout the country and also at certain Bahamian embassies and foreign missions overseas.

The various registration stations will remain in operation until the House of Assembly is dissolved, which is expected to happen in about 18 months time.

When asked yesterday for his thoughts on the likely outcome of the upcoming general election, Mr Munroe said: “I think all parties should be concerned because the population shift in The Bahamas is predominantly a youth bloc that will be voting, which will be those persons between the age of 18-35.”

“This grouping of persons is more free and independent thinkers. They are not familiar with the (Sir Lynden) Pindling era. While they respect history, it will not determine the way they vote in 2017,” he added.


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