Dr. Francis Alexis QC
The Hon. David Jenkins
Mr. Sylvan Richards
Mr. Mark Pettingill
Mr. Jamahl Simmons,
Mr. Michael Scott,
Constituency Boundaries Commission of Bermuda invites suggestions
Boundary Commission Info
- The Constituency Boundaries Commission of Bermuda is appointed by His Excellency the Governor in accordance with section 53(2) of the Constitution of Bermuda.
- The Commission, by section 54 of the Constitution, reviews the boundaries of the constituencies into which Bermuda is divided. The Commission, by section 54(2), has to ensure that the constituencies contain, so far as is reasonably practicable, equal members of persons qualified to be registered as electors.
- The average number of voters per constituency, that is, the mean, is 1,456
- The Commission considers that the tolerance for variances from the mean shall be plus or minus 5%.
- Several constituencies have significant variances from the mean, some over and others under. These variances, the Commission proposes, should be adjusted; this means that changes in the boundaries of the relevant constituencies are required.
- Changing the shapes of the constituencies is accomplished by grouping together smaller areas for which the estimated numbers of voters have been calculated. These smaller areas are grouped incrementally until the constituency has an estimated number of voters within the tolerance (plus or minus 5%) of the target mean. Census districts are sometimes used for these smaller areas, but because these do not provide enough flexibility in Bermuda’s situation, the Commission utilizes custom-define areas for its analysis.
- The Commission, with the assistance of the professional Geographical Information Systems Consultant engaged by the Commission, proposes that adjustments to the boundaries of the relevant constituencies should be made in the following priority order:
- Using divisions along the centrelines of roads and thoroughfares utilizing major roads as constituency boundaries wherever practical, since they are easily identifiable and often define existing communities.
- Using divisions based on communities and estates, where practical, by
drawing a boundary along the property lines at the rear of houses, such that the estate road falls near the center of the polygon, and neighborhoods with common access are thus kept together.
- Retaining the character of major land areas, where practical.
- Creating regularly shaped constituencies, where practical.
- Ensuring that each polygon is bordered by a minimum of two polygons to preserve the contiguity of constituencies (avoiding enclaves).
- Utilizing a guideline maximum of 200 voters per polygon in order to provide flexibility in the aggregation process.
- The map below shows the current constituencies, and identifies the ones which are over and under the mean.
- The Commission will be holding a public meeting to hear oral submissions on April 11th 2016 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Berkeley Institute auditorium in Pembroke.