People can petition court to be added to voters’ list

People can petition court  to be added to voters’ list

PHILIPSBURG--Persons who believe they were wrongfully taken off or excluded from the list of voters for the upcoming parliamentary election can petition the local court to have themselves added to the official voters’ registry. This was announced by the Joint Court of Justice on Thursday.

    Petitions to correct the voters’ registry must be submitted to the courthouse in Philipsburg no later than January 5, 2024.

    A court hearing is slated for January 8, 2024, to rule on the submitted petitions. “You will be informed by the court clerk about the time your petition will be handled,” said the Joint Court.

    Additionally, the court will have an emergency hearing between 8:00 and 11:00am on election day, January 11, 2024, to handle urgent petitions.

    Persons who want to be added to the voters’ registry must have the Dutch nationality; must have reached 18 years old on or before January 11, 2024; and must have been a St. Maarten resident on or before October 23, 2023.

    For the last condition, the court requires applicants to supply proof of address.

    The voters’ registry is based on the eligible voters listed in St. Maarten’s civil registry.

    More than 3,000 persons were taken out of the civil registry as part of a database clean-up earlier this year.

    The clean-up brought the number of persons in the civil registry down to 58,477, according to figures provided by Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs in June. The number was 61,750 ahead of the last election in 2020.

    The removals had significant political ramifications. Article 45 of St. Maarten’s Constitution stipulates that Parliament will increase to 17 seats if the population is between 60,000 and 70,000. With the civil registry list now standing below 60,000, the number of parliamentary seats will remain at 15 for the upcoming vote.

The Daily Herald

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