Both Election Same Day

Both Election Same Day

The Jamaica Government last gave hints that he might table a motion to amend the Representation of the People Act (ROPA) to keep general and local government elections on the same day. 

Karl Samuda Leader of Government Business in the House of Parlement gave notice on behalf of Prime Minister Andrew Holness, saying the motion will be tabled at the next meeting of the house.

The announcement comes after many years of discussion to make it cost taxpayers lest money of having both elections on separate days, just last month Director of Elections Glasspole Brown said a meeting was held of the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) at Gordon House that the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) can hold general and local government elections on the same he stated 

 

Under the ROPA, it must schedule nomination day a minimum of five days and a maximum of seven days after the announcement of an election. There must be a minimum of 16 days and a maximum of 23 days between nomination and election days.

Noting the $2.4-billion set aside in the 2020-21 budget for both elections, Brown told the PAAC meeting: “Our preliminary estimate is that if we are able to combine both elections, you'd be looking at savings close to three-quarters of a billion dollars.”

“There are several things we would need to do [because] critical is the period between nomination and the elections. There are certain activities that we now carry out in terms of the ROPA. If they ask us to do both elections, we would require additional time; we think we could work with a minimum of 32 days between nomination [and election day]. You're talking about printing two million ballots for the two elections, and you're going to now print four million ballots, and there are several additional things that need to be done,” Brown said.

He said the EOJ would also need more equipment, but some of those would have to be sourced overseas, which would bring into play the need for additional security measures.