The Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) recently reminded Jamaicans who were not on the May 31 voters’ list that they have until September 30 to get registered for the list to be published on November 30. The Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) publishes two voters’ list each year, on the dates mentioned earlier. If you are not a part of either list at the time an election is called, you will not be eligible to vote.
The matter has taken on a sense of urgency in recent weeks as the whispers that a general election is imminent have begun to grow louder.
Registration takes place on a continuous basis, so there is technically no cut-off date. If you register after the deadline for one voters’ list, you will have to wait until the other is published to be eligible to vote.
Who can register to vote?
Every Jamaican citizen who possesses the following qualifications is entitled to register to vote:
- Is a Jamaican citizen of 18 years or over and resident in Jamaica or
- Is a commonwealth citizen who is eighteen years of age or older and who is resident in Jamaica at the date of registration and who has been resident for at least twelve months prior to the date of registration.
- Is not subjected to any legal incapacity to vote such as being of an unsound mind, convicted or under a suspended sentence.
5 steps to voter registration
- Visit the EOJ office in your constituency – Constituency offices are open from 8:30AM to 4:30PM, Mondays to Thursdays and 8:30AM to 3:30PM on Fridays. If you have just turned 18, you may be asked to show proof of age, so bring your birth certificate with you. Click here for the complete constituency office listing.
- Your personal data are collected – At the office, the registration clerk will assist you in filling out a Registration Record Card, also known as the RRC. This form is used to record your demographic information, photograph, and fingerprints.
- Your address/residence is verified – After you have filled out the application, EOJ representatives and scrutineers (political party representatives) will visit the address you gave at a later date to verify that it is where you live. The registration process is not complete until your residence has been verified.
- Await processing – Once your address has been verified, your application is processed. Your information is verified for accuracy and your fingerprints are cross matched to ensure there are no duplications.
- Your ID card is issued – When the registration process is complete, your name is added to the voters’ list and your ID card will be issued, but only after the voters list has been published. It will be available for collection at your constituency office. Depending on when you register, this may be May 31 or November 30. Your voters’ ID is used as a de facto national ID. It is also an accepted form of identification in some other countries. Be sure to take it with you on Election Day.
Be sure to check out our election hub and follow the hashtag #ElectionJa on social media to stay up to date on all our election-related content and activities.