GENERAL FAQ

How many constituencies are there?

There are 36 constituencies.

 

What are the largest constituencies?

All constituencies are designed to be relatively equal in size.

 

How many candidates can win in each constituency?

One candidate can win in each constituency.

 

How often is a General Election held?

The Premier may call a General Election at any time during the life of a Parliament which is five years.

 

Can anyone run in General Election?

There are criteria: The person must be Bermudian and over 21 years of age. They must be nominated for a constituency by two people who are registered in that constituency and they must pay $250 to the Accountant General. The deposit is returned if the candidate polls more than one-eighth of the votes cast.

 

What is a bye-election?

A bye-election is held to elect a new Member of Parliament when a sitting Member dies or resigns his or her seat. This must be held within two months of the vacancy.

 

What is Nomination Day?

Nomination Day is the day on which candidates are nominated. Polling stations are open to accept Nominations between 11.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. After that time, no one else can be selected as a candidate.

 

Do I have to be registered to vote?

All voters must be registered in the constituency in which they live in order to vote. Registration takes place throughout the year. If you move to another constituency or change your name, you must register that change with the Parliamentary Registrar within 28 days of the change.

 

Why does a voter have to register?

Voters must be registered so that a list of voters can be prepared in advance of an election to determine numbers of voters, and also to ensure that everyone who comes to vote is eligible.

 

Who can register to vote?

Persons can register to vote if they are Bermudian and 18 years of age or older, or non-Bermudian Commonwealth citizens who were registered to vote on 1st May 1976.

 

How can I tell if I am registered?

Registration lists are always on display at all post offices, police stations, the library, and the Parliamentary Registry.

 

Can I vote if I will be off the island or in hospital on polling day?

Persons who expect to be off the island or in hospital on polling day, may vote at an advanced poll approximately one week before. Certificates of intended absence or incapacity are required.

 

Where do I go to vote on Election Day?

Voters vote in the constituency in which they are registered. A list of polling stations is published prior to Election Day, in the newspaper and on our website at www.elections.gov.bm.

 

Do I need identification in order to vote?

Yes. Every voter MUST show Identification to vote. Acceptable forms of ID are a commonwealth passport, a Bermuda driver’s license, a Special Persons Card, Voters Identification Card or an employee identification card with a photo, signature and date of birth.

 

How long are the polling stations open?

The polling stations open at 8.00 a.m. and close at 8.00 p.m.

 

Are votes counted before the polls close?

No votes are counted until after the polls close.

 

How are the votes counted?

The officers in charge of the election appointed to do so count the votes in each constituency at the close of the polls.

 

How many Members of Parliament are there?

Thirty-six (36) Members of Parliament make up the House of Assembly.

 

When does the House of Assembly meet?

The House of Assembly meets on Fridays when in session.

 

Are votes counted before the polls close?

No votes are not counted until after the polls close.

 

NOMINATION DAY FAQ

When are Nominations accepted?

Nomination period for the Nomination of Candidates will be held between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Nomination day at the election room appointed for the parliamentary election. No nominations will be accepted before or after the specified period. Nomination papers will be available from our offices commencing with the issue of the Writ of elections.

 

 

What is the format required for Nominations?

Nominations should be presented to the Returning Office on the Nomination papers provided by the Parliamentary Registry Office, or in the prescribed form. The nomination paper must be delivered in duplicate to the Returning Officer either by the intended candidate or by his proposer or seconder at the polling place in which the candidate is standing for election and between the hours specified for accepting nominations. The nomination paper must be signed in duplicate by two parliamentary electors whose names are included in the parliamentary register for the constituency concerned. One as the Proposer and one as the Seconder, neither of who can have been the Proposer or Seconder for the nomination of another candidate at that parliamentary election. The candidate cannot be nominated in any other constituency. All information regarding the candidate must be completed and the candidate is required to sign the form in duplicate. Any candidate endorsed by a political party must present a letter with their nomination papers from or on behalf of the chairman of the party stating that the candidate is endorsed by the party. All other candidates will be described as “independent” candidates.

 

 

Is there a fee to run in a parliamentary election?

Yes. The amount of $250.00 must be paid to the Accountant General on behalf of the candidate. An official receipt must be presented along with the nomination paper to the Returning Officer as proof of the deposit being made to the Accountant General’s office on behalf of the candidate.

 

 

Will I receive the deposit of $250.00 back?

Any candidate who receives in excess of 1/8th of the total ballots cast is entitled to the reimbursement of the deposit of $250 from the Accountant General’s Department.

 

 

As a candidate am I allowed to have representatives within the polling station?

Yes. As a candidate you are entitled to have “election agents” represent you within the polling station. You are allowed one agent for every election table and one agent to act as a courier or messenger. During the count of ballots you are entitled to have up to 4 persons present, including yourself as the candidate.

 

 

What is the 7-meter line?

The seven-meter line is the demarcation point in which candidates are not allowed to go beyond when greeting voters. This is to give voters free and un-inhibited access to and from the polling station.

 

 

What is a Writ of Election?

A writ of Election is issued to commence the start of a Parliamentary Election. It names the polling day, constituency, election room and the nomination day.

 

 

What are some of the important dates to remember in a run-up to an election?

One of the more important periods to remember is the seven-day registration period after the Writ is published. When canvassing, no constituent after the seven-day period if not registered, will be able have their name placed on the register in order to vote. Advanced polls for travelers and the handicapped persons will take place on a date appointed by the Registrar Between 8:00am and 8:00pm. Advanced polls for institutions will take place on a day appointed not earlier than seven days prior to Election Day, commencing at 9:00am.

 

 

Do I have to disclose my interest in government contracts?

Yes, all nominated candidates are required to disclose any interest in any Government contract within seven (7) days of their nomination as a candidate for election. This disclosure must include the nature of the contract and the interest by means of a notice published in the Gazette or in a newspaper published and circulating in Bermuda. You should also review the Qualifications and Disqualification for election as set out in the Parliamentary Election Act 1978, the Bermuda Constitution Order, 1968, and the Legislature (Qualification and Disqualification) Act 1968

 

VOTER ELIGIBILTY FAQ

Do I have to be registered to vote?

All voters must be registered in the constituency in which they live in order to vote. Registration takes place throughout the year. If you move to another constituency or change your name, you must register that change with the Parliamentary Registrar within 28 days of the change.

 

 

Why does a voter have to register?

Voters must be registered so that a list of voters can be prepared in advance of an election to determine numbers of voters, and also to ensure that everyone who comes to vote is eligible.

 

 

Who can register to vote?

Persons can register to vote if they are Bermudian and 18 years of age or older, or non-Bermudian Commonwealth citizens who were registered to vote on 1st May 1976. Persons who are not ordinarily resident in Bermuda if they reside outside of Bermuda for more than 6 months

 

 

How can I tell if I am registered?

Registration lists are always on display at all post offices, police stations, the library, the office of the Parliamentary Registrar and online at www.elections.gov.bm.

 

 

Can I vote if I will be off the island or in hospital on polling day?

Persons who expect to be off the island or in hospital on polling day, may vote at an advanced poll approximately one week before. Certificates of intended absence or incapacity are required.

 
 

Municipal Elections FAQ

General

What legislation governs the Bermuda Municipal Elections?

The Municipalities Act 1923 & the Parliamentary Election Act 1978

What is a Business Ratepayers’ election?

A Business ratepayers’ election is a municipal election to elect the business ratepayers’ portion of Councillors of a Corporation. Only the business ratepayers will vote in this election.

What is a Municipal Residents’ election?

A Municipal residents’ election is a municipal election to elect the residents’ portion of Councillors of a Corporation. Only the residents will vote in this election.

What is a Mayoral election?

A Mayoral election is a municipal election to elect the Mayor of a Corporation.  Both the municipal residents and the business ratepayers can vote for the Mayor.

How will the proportion of candidate for each election be chosen?

The proportion of candidates for the municipal residents’ election and the business ratepayers’ election will be calculated at the end of the 7 day registration period once the writ of election is issued.  The calculations will be based on the number of registered voters for each group.

Who is considered a business ratepayer?

A business ratepayer is the owner or occupier of a valuation unit that is chargeable to rates within a municipal area.

When does registration for the election open and close?

Registration is continuous and will close seven days after the writ of election is issued for the Municipal Elections.

What is the date for the next Municipal election?

The next ordinary election for the municipalities of Hamilton and St. George will be held during the week after the first Sunday in May 2018.

 

Eligibility & Registration

If I have a business in the City of Hamilton or the Town of St. George, can I vote in the Municipal election?

Yes, the Municipalities Act 1923 provides for business ratepayers to vote in all municipal elections.<br/><br/>In order to vote, business ratepayers must register.  Each business ratepayer is entitled to one vote only.

How do I register my business to vote?

Business ratepayers’ registration forms are available at the offices of the Corporation of Hamilton and St. George or the Parliamentary Registry.  Completed application forms must be returned to the Parliamentary Registry.  Each completed application must be accompanied by supporting documentation as outlined on the application form.

How do I register to vote as a resident of the Municipality?

A resident of either of the municipalities, must be registered on the Parliamentary Register to vote.  This is the same register used to vote in a general election.  Therefore, if you are already registered you are not required to re-register for a municipal election.  It is always advisable to check and confirm your registration details.  You can check your details either:

Online at www.elections.gov.bm, at any post office, or the Parliamentary Registry.  If a ratepayer is also a resident of the municipality, they MUST vote as a resident and nominate someone to cast their vote as a business ratepayer.

Who can I nominate to vote for my company?

If a business ratepayer is a company the nominee MUST be a director, manager, secretary or other similar officer or if none of these persons are available, an employee of the company.  If a business ratepayer is an association or partnership, the nominee must be a member of the partnership, association or body.  The Nominee for business ratepayers, who are joint owners or occupiers, should be one of them or an individual natural person nominated by them.  Nominees must be registered on the Parliamentary Register of Bermuda and must not be a resident within the municipality.

Can I vote if I am no longer the owner or occupier of a valuation unit?

No, if a person ceases to be the owner (or occupier) of a valuation unit they are disqualified from voting even though they may be already registered as a municipal elector.  A person who knowingly casts a vote in this instance commits an offence under the Municipalities Act 1923.

Can a subsidiary of a Holding company nominate someone for each of their subsidiaries?

No, subsidiaries of other business ratepayers, exempt companies and exempted partnerships are disqualified from being registered to vote as a business ratepayer.

I own a residence within the Municipality but I do not live there, am I entitled to vote?

No, owners of residential units within the municipal area can only vote as residents if they are living in the residential unit.

If I own multiple buildings in a municipal area can I nominate someone to vote for me for each of these buildings?

No, you are entitled to one vote only.  You will be registered to your primary valuation number.  The occupiers of the remaining buildings will be entitled to vote as occupiers at the other properties owned by you.  Vacant properties are not entitled to a vote.

Can I nominate someone who is not a Bermudian to vote on my behalf as my business ratepayer nominee?

No, the nominee must be a registered voter on the Parliamentary Register.

Once a business ratepayer or a municipal resident is registered to vote for municipal elections, do they need to re-register every year?

If there are no changes to your ratepayer registration or municipal resident registration you will not be required to re-register.  However the business ratepayer or municipal resident is responsible to make any changes to their registration.  It is an offence against the Municipalities Act 1923 to knowingly submit documentation or make a false statement in support of an application.

Can I change my nominee before an election?

You can change your nominee only during the period when registration is open.  Once registration closes, no changes can be made to the business ratepayer register.

Can I nominate someone who is voting for another business?

No, a person can vote only once in a municipal election.

As a resident ratepayer can I nominate someone to vote?

No, resident ratepayers cannot nominate someone to vote for them.