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'Cover Breasts To Register For Vote'

Ginger Moxey, in yellow, centre, with supporters registering to vote in Grand Bahama on Wednesday as she declared she was vying to become the Progressive Liberal Party candidate for Central Grand Bahama. See full story on page three.

Ginger Moxey, in yellow, centre, with supporters registering to vote in Grand Bahama on Wednesday as she declared she was vying to become the Progressive Liberal Party candidate for Central Grand Bahama. See full story on page three.

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Deputy Chief Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

AMID reports that some women have been turned away from registration sites because of “improper” attire, Parliamentary Commissioner Sherlyn Hall yesterday defended the right of his staff not to process people because of their clothing, telling The Tribune women registering to vote with “half their breasts out” is not permitted.

With voter registration performing sluggishly this year, concerns have been raised that citizens have been repeatedly turned away and reportedly prevented from registering for reasons ranging from registrar workers taking lunch breaks to what officials deem to be inappropriate clothing.

Yesterday, a pregnant woman who did not want to be identified, told The Tribune she was told by registration officials at the Elizabeth Estates Post Office that she would not be allowed to register to vote on separate occasions because of what she was wearing at the time.

On her second attempt she went into the post office wearing an ankle length maxi dress, but was still not permitted to begin the process.

Returning for a third try, the expectant mother wore a jacket and was still told that she was too bare, so she had to put on a scarf in order to be registered.

The Parliamentary Elections Act makes no mention of dress code.

Mr Hall yesterday suggested that people may have been turned away and pointed to the public service having a “dress code” for how people are to present themselves in public. “Because you have to take photographs, so if someone comes with half their breasts out and cleavage showing, this isn’t permitted,” Mr Hall said when he was contacted.

“This has been around not just under my administration but other previous ones where we ask people to dress in decency and in order. So if my people feel that someone is not properly dressed for the photograph, we ask them to kindly put on the proper attire. That’s not out of order. It’s trying to help them. So it’s not to be rude, it’s too make sure that things are done in decency and in order.”

He added that that the number of registered voters in the country is now nearing 75,000. This is a little more than half of what the register was at the same point in 2011.

To encourage Bahamians to register, Mr Hall said the government plans to open more evening stations on January 1 in various constituencies.

“We have additional manpower to go into the constituencies from 5pm to 9pm. So we hope that might be a stimulus to encourage people to come out to present themselves to register. You must also remember that this is a voluntary process. We cannot force people to vote. It is a voluntary thing. You come forward and present your documents to fulfil the law.”

Meanwhile, Free National Movement (FNM) Leader Dr Hubert Minnis said quite a number of people have complained that registration staff were not pleasant and refused to assist voters because they were headed on breaks.

In a recent interview with The Tribune, he questioned whether these issues among other things have impacted the voter registration numbers.

“Quite a number of people have said when they went to register the staff were not too pleasant and said they were on their break and to come back.

“When you turn them away, what are the odds that they will come back? Some of these people are coming on lunch breaks and are making time on a hectic schedule. We have been getting a lot of those kinds of calls,” Dr Minnis said.

Regarding this, Mr Hall admitted that some stations might not have the needed manpower because some workers are on leave for the holidays.

“Our staff is normally in place from 10am to 4pm and they take a break at 4pm for one hour. Then they re-open again at five. That’s their lunch hour basically.

“But there are one or two persons on leave because it’s the Christmas season. So some stations we normally have four persons per station and some stations may not be fully manned so to speak because one or two persons might be on leave.”

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Perry Christie indicated that a potential election date could hinge on voter registration in the coming weeks, implying that he could make a determination as early as February “if we get the numbers right”.

The next election must be called by May, 2017.

Mr Christie, speaking to voter registration numbers on the sidelines of the 2016 Boxing Day Junkanoo Parade, admitted to The Tribune that the process has been “a struggle” for his administration, pushing officials “back to the drawing board” as they look for ways to encourage voters to “support the process”.

Mr Christie told The Tribune that “surprising forecast” has led his administration to steer “tremendous resources” towards voter registration with the hopes of “convincing eligible voters to first register and secondly, take part in this vital process”.

Comments

Sickened 2 years, 7 months ago

OMG! This is hilarious! Are they taking full length photo's? I thought they took a picture of my shoulders and face when I registered. I should have asked to see the picture - they may have just taken it of my crotch!

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Sickened 2 years, 7 months ago

I wonder... if I wear a FNM shirt will they consider that inappropriate and not register me? One would have to assume so.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 7 months ago

Yes, but they still don't see fit to cut off the pecker of a rapist, including the rapist who rapes his wife. What's the name of that new senator who looks like a billy-goat?

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observer2 2 years, 7 months ago

I saw a dress code sign some months ago at the DMV testing department. Also, I've heard complaints that some young women going in for testing were turned away due to wearing shorts. However, this may not be true at the moment. I don't know.

Hmmmm.

So, you can't get a passport due a long waiting period, you can't get a voters card due to how you dress.

Even when you do vote in a referendum and say NO to gambling, your vote is ignored.

No wonder people don't want to get proper ID or vote because its too much of a struggle and basically the insinuation is that no matter what you do we in charge and control tings.

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licks2 2 years, 7 months ago

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. . . .my my. . .what a waste of good time. . .this commissioner told us earlier that we could not vote without a $250 e-passport. . .that the passport office could not get completed for months. . .now they removed the restriction of the passport and peoples them are rushing to get registered. . .now ya can't get registered unless the commissioner thinks ya dressed right! I wonder they ger think "ya too black, stink or white or fat" to get registered? Step right up. . .

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jackbnimble 2 years, 7 months ago

There's nothing third world about this. There is a strict dress code waist up for passport pictures period. If you go to a photographer for a passport picture with your underarms or cleavage exposed they would tell you they cannot take the picture. Come on people. This is a government-issued ID and to my knowledge it's the 1st world standard.

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realfreethinker 2 years, 7 months ago

That is utter bullshit. Your picture is from the shoulder up. We just love to aquiesce to government crap. This is why our country is in this state,these people make up the rules as they go. There is no law requiring a certain dress code. So the picture is taken base on if that individual decides if they should?

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ohdrap4 2 years, 7 months ago

not to mention that people go around in spaghetti straps with the bra showing.

the shorts, i understand, they are really hot pants and tear at the crotch, most of the wearers are not kim kardashian. they are mcdonald's size.

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licks2 2 years, 7 months ago

I agree they are government ID . . .but when last you see a government ID shot where ya could see the breast of a woman or a man for that matter!

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proudloudandfnm 2 years, 7 months ago

We should all go register naked...

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Regardless 2 years, 7 months ago

......so let me get this straight. The government encourages women to dress like and behave like whores in Carnival but wants them to attire in nun's habit to register to vote.

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banker 2 years, 7 months ago

Nice to see young people in the pic.

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John 2 years, 7 months ago

Seems like someone is very prude. Very gay or very not into letting Bahamians register to vote!

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Porcupine 2 years, 7 months ago

Again, no accountability. If the people at voters registration, including Mr. Hall, do not respect the rights of the citizens, throw them in jail. People get away with almost anything here because there are no consequences for much illegal behaviour.

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TalRussell 2 years, 7 months ago

Comrades Parliamentary Commissioner Sherlyn Hall, tis too bad you and staff are such voter registration dummies. Let's see. You can purchase Kanaval costumes from the government authorized vendors that are no more than two soda caps cover ya boobs nipples and a Johnson & Johnson Band-Aid cover ya female genital... but you can't register vote if only some boobs - not even the nipples - are exposed.

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thephoenix562 2 years, 7 months ago

I dare anyone to show me anywhere in any regulation or law where dress code is mentioned in regard to registering to vote.You cant just make stuff up.You may be offended yes but do your Job within the law.

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empathy 2 years, 7 months ago

I'm all for "proper attire", though one always wonders by whose definition? While we need to respect the process and not expose ourselves on the photo, it's silly to say that the photographer can't zone their lens on "the shoulders up" face shot. Their is no law that specifies the code of dress for voter registration and being a country of laws (supposedly) the Parlimentary Office can't go around "making things up"!

Seems like many government works, including those at Customs and just about every department that placed those one way windows, have too much autonomy to decide on policy. Whose running the show in government these days? We need LEADERSHIP, compassion and common sense...something sorely lacking right now.

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Stapedius 2 years, 7 months ago

What is this place we live in? So if a woman wears a tank top or a low rise shirt it's not acceptable? Wtf? Get real dude. We have far too many problems to be concerned about than people's attire when registering. Get over it and stop hijacking democracy.

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goodbyebahamas 2 years, 7 months ago

The PLP is $hitting in Thier pants.. lol...making any kind of excuse to keep its oppression against the Bahamian people. Now more then ever you have to vote against them, they have now proven that they know they are f...king finished! Also, the PLP is going to send four of Thier members to the next March to start trouble, they will be wearing black March t.shirts and thier famous PLP sunglasses.this information was given to me by a person who works in parliament. The rbpf will be ready out of sight in riot gear once the trouble starts. The marchers must stay peaceful at all cost, this way Thier plan will backfire in Thier face. Even if they use tear gas, stay peaceful because they want to discredit the march as the world is watching.God bless you my friends and soon you will make history and will have your beautiful country back.

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thephoenix562 2 years, 7 months ago

Pure nonsense.this man is a total ass he needs to get the hell back under his rock.Who the hell is he to tell women how to dress.Are we in the twilight zone.

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gauchaeua 2 years, 7 months ago

All women should go in TOPLESS and in huge numbers. This is 2016. The Bahamas needs to get their third world heads out of their arses if they want to move forward. How shameful of this country.

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Thumbelina242 2 years, 7 months ago

Mr Hall's comments are baseless! I don't go ANYWHERE with my boobs out. I was appropriately dressed but because the blouse I had on was sleeveless I was told I couldn't register to vote. Only after I started to question what was wrong with my clothing, the lady allowed me to take the picture (face shot) and register. They complain that voter registration is down and putting us through this nonsense! Get it together! We are taking time out of our busy schedules to register. We don't need the hassle!

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TalRussell 2 years, 7 months ago

Comrades! The secret "higher purpose" meeting that Loretta’s anything to grab power "bargaining team" backers, thinks may just alter the collision course the Red Movement has found itself heading on as the 2017 General approaches.
I have gotten three highly credible reports in as many days that Loretta’s people have offered Minnis, what they thinks is an enticing prospect to give up his hold on the red party's leadership in return for appointment as Bahamaland's 8th Governor General since Independence in the event the Red Movement Party captures a majority or minority government following the 2017 General Election.

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by TalRussell

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 7 months ago

The Bahamas is quickly becoming Taliban-like in its extremist Christian views and psuedo-Jewish observances .......... either we are going to be an open modern society or we are going to stick with this strange mixture of Seventh Day Adventist & Church of God of Prophecy fake religion that seems to drive our interpretation of Biblical Christianity ....... while enjoying all of the sins of the flesh to the max (after dark) ......... we are so super-hypocritical

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Socrates 2 years, 7 months ago

another classic example of a civil servant drunk with power. how the hell has the bahamas deteriorated to this level where the freedom to dress as u like within the law, is under threat? what next? this type of ultra-conservative islamic type mentality is a threat that needs to be challenged.

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 7 months ago

My point exactly!!!!!!!!! ................. We are too ultra-religious to be so damn crooked, mean and wicked ............... a tribe of Pharisees....... BOL

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