Electoral College 2023

On Wednesday the 15th of March 2023 the electoral college elections of Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius takes place. The electoral colleges for the First Chamber in the Caribbean Netherlands are bodies of elected representatives of the people who, together with the members of the Provincial States and the electoral college for non-residents, may vote for members of the First Chamber. In the First and Second Chamber, decisions are taken on the three public entities. By voting for the Electoral College, you have indirect influence on who enters the First Chamber and thus on the decisions taken there.

Exercise your right to vote and go and vote on the 15th of March. Below you will find all the information you need to be able to vote.

When are the elections?
The Island Council elections on Bonaire, Saba, and St. Eustatius take place on Wednesday the 15th of March2023. From 7:30 a.m. in the morning until 09p.m. in the evening you can vote at any random polling station on Bonaire, Saba, and St. Eustatius.

Can I vote?
To be allowed to vote in this election, the following conditions apply:
- You must hold Dutch nationality

- You must be a resident of the public entity

- You must be 18 years of age or older on the day of the election (15th March 2023).

- You must not be excluded from the right to vote.

The public entity derives the right to vote from the Base Registry Persons BES. Are you included in it and do you meet the above criteria? Then you will automatically receive a voting pass for the election at home.

You can contact the Executive Council to check whether you are registered as a voter. If this is not the case and you still think you meet the above criteria? Then you can request a review of the registration as an eligible voter. In doing so, you must submit evidence showing that you meet the criteria.

Duty to provide proof of identity
Voters who cast their votes must identify themselves with an identity document. This identity document cannot have expired by more than five years on the day of voting.

The Public Entity derives the eligibility to vote from the basis administration of the Civil Registry of the island. Are you listed in it and do you meet the aforementioned criteria? Then you will automatically receive a voting pass for the elections at home.

You can apply to the Executive Council to check whether you are registered as a voter. If this is not the case and you nonetheless think you meet the aforementioned criteria? Then you can request a review of the registration as an eligible voter. You have to submit evidence that you meet the criteria.

All residents of Bonaire, Saba, and St. Eustatius eligible to vote who are aged 18 or over can vote. You must, however, be in possession of proof of identity that has not expired by more than five years on the 16th of March2023.

What do you need to bring along to vote?
To vote, you must bring your personal voting pass and an identity document that has not expired by more than five years on the 16th of March 2023. This can be a Dutch passport, an identity card or a driving licence of the Public Entity. You cannot vote without a valid identity document and voting pass.

Your identity document cannot have expired by more than five years on the day of the election and under "valid until" the document must mention the 16th of March 2018 or a later date. Has your identity document expired by more than five years on the day of the election? Then apply for a new identity document with Civil Affairs. Do take the processing time into account. If you discover on the day of the elections that your identity document is more than five years out of date then you can, unfortunately, not vote.

Do you not have an identity document? Then apply for it as soon as possible with Civil Affairs.

Voting pass
Please note: If you are also eligible to vote for the Electoral College elections then you receive two voting passes at home. One voting pass for the Island Council elections and one voting pass for the Electoral College elections. Do you want to vote for both elections? Then take both voting passes with you to the polling station.

When and where do I vote?
You can vote on Wednesday the 15th of March from 7:30 a.m. until 9p.m. at one of the polling stations on the island where you live. You can decide yourself where to vote.

Poling stations Bonaire
1. Jong Bonaire + Jong Bonaire Kaya Libertador Simon Bolivar
2. Sentro di Bario Tera Kora Kaya Monseigneur Niewindt
3. Classroom Kristu Bon Wardador Kaya Avelino J. Cecilia
4. Sentro di Bario Nikiboko Kaya Pos di Amor
5. Sentro di Bario Amboina Amboina
6. Sports Hall Adventista Kaya Ramon 8
7. Kompleho Deportivo J. Nicolaas Kaya Amsterdam
8. Sentro di Bario Nord Saliña Kaya Cacique 9
9. Sociedad San Antonio de Padua Kaya Rincon 66  - under proviso
10. Tia Sani Kaya Encarnacion B. Sint Jago  
11. Mobile Polling Bus EEG Boulevard – between the Airport and Donkey Beach – NEW
12. Building at the Airport next to the Fire Brigade EEG Boulevard – NEW
Polling stations St. Eustatius
The Ernest van Putten Youth Center (Lions Den)  Concordiaweg 24
The Earl Merkman Sports Complex  Sandyroad
Polling stations Saba
Eugenius Johnson Center
 
Sunny Valley Youth Center

No voting pass?
Anyone eligible to vote on the 15th of March will receive their voting pass(es) at home by the 1st of March. Have you not received your voting pass(es) by the 1st of March? Have you lost your voting pass? Or is the voting pass torn and therefore illegible? Then apply for a new one as soon as possible. This can be done in writing up to and including Friday the 10th of March or in person until Tuesday the 14th of March 12 noon. To do so, visit Civil Affairs with a valid identity document. In both cases, the replacement voting pass must be collected in person from Civil Affairs where you sign for receipt.

How does the voting work?
Voting follows the following steps:

  • At the polling station, you give your voting pass to the polling official. Show your identity document as well. The polling official checks your voting pass and identity document.
  • You then receive a ballot paper.
  • The ballot paper contains all the lists (parties) that participate in the election. It also lists all the candidates for whom you can vote.
  • You vote (alone) in the polling booth. Only when you need assistance in the voting booth due to your physical condition can someone accompany you to assist you.
  • You vote by colouring the box for the candidate of your choice red. You can also leave the ballot paper blank. This is called abstaining from voting. If you have made a mistake then ask for a new ballot paper. This can be done once.
  • You fold the ballot paper after you have casted your vote, so that your choice is not visible.
  • After the voting, put your ballot paper in the ballot box. There are two ballot boxes in each polling station: one for the Island Council elections and one for the Electoral College elections. The colour of the ballot box corresponds to the colour bar on the ballot paper.

Please note: if you are eligible to vote in both the Island Council elections and the Electoral College elections then you will receive (when submitting both voting passes) a separate ballot paper for each election. Fill in the ballot papers in the polling booth and put them in the designated ballot box.

What do I need to do if I cannot vote myself?
Are you unable to vote yourself, e.g. because you are ill or temporarily abroad? Then you can ask another voter to vote on your behalf. This is called a proxy vote. You can only authorise someone if you really cannot vote yourself.

How does voting by proxy work?
Authorising another voter is possible in two ways: by private proxy or by written proxy.

  • Private proxy
    To authorise someone else, fill in the back of your voting pass. First fill in your own details, then those of the person you want to authorise. You also place your signature on the back of the pass. You thereby declare who can vote on your behalf. You should also give the voter who votes on your behalf a copy of your identity document. You can also authorise another voter in writing. Read on for more information.
  • Written proxy
    If you want to use a written proxy then you need to pick up a form for this purpose at Civil Affairs. Complete this form in full. Make sure this form includes your own signature and the signature of the person you want to authorise to cast your vote. Hand in the completed form to Civil Affairs no later than Friday the 10th of March 10 2023. They will let the proxy-holder know when the written proxy is ready.

Has your identity document expired by more than five years? Then you can only ask another voter to vote for you by written proxy.

Please note: a proxy-holder can cast a maximum of two votes for others per election.

Important:

  • Only grant a proxy if you cannot go and vote yourself.
  • It is prohibited to bribe voters with a gift or promise to grant a proxy.
  • The person who allows themselves to be bribed is also punishable under the Elections Act.
  • Is someone pressuring you to grant a proxy? Then report this. If you are coerced then you are a victim and not a criminal. However, the perpetrator is.
  • Prevent abuse of your identity document. Write on the copy that it is only meant to be used to cast your proxy vote and ask for the copy to be returned after the voting.

Who can I authorise?
You can authorise a person if they:

  • Can personally also cast a vote for the same elections
  • Live on the same island
  • Cast your vote simultaneously with their vote

A voter can vote for a maximum of two other voters in total at an election.

If it is not possible for an employee to vote outside working hours then the employer is required to give the employee time to do so. Employees can receive a maximum of two hours of leave.

You decide yourself whether you want to ask someone else to vote on your behalf. Someone else cannot ask or pressure you to hand over your voting pass. You also choose who you ask to vote for you. So never just hand over your voting pass. Abuse of the opportunity to vote by proxy is punishable. It is forbidden to bribe someone or promise a gift in exchange for their voting pass. It is also punishable if you allow yourself to be bribed to hand over your voting pass.

For whom can I vote?
You vote for a maximum of one candidate for each election. Before the election, you will receive a list at home with the names of the candidates you can vote for.

Can I abstain from voting?
Do you not want to elect a candidate but still want to exercise your right to vote? Then you can abstain from voting. You then go to the polling booth, but you do not elect a candidate. So you do not fill in anything on the ballot paper.

Your blank vote does not affect the distribution of seats. So a blank vote or a vote not cast does not go to the largest party. However, a blank vote does count in determining the turnout of the election.

When is my vote valid?
If you colour the box for the candidate of your choice red with the pencil or if you leave the ballot completely blank (a blank vote).

When is my vote invalid?
A vote is invalid:

  • if you do not make it clear who you are voting for (e.g. by colouring several boxes red, or by only placing an arrow by the name of the candidate of your choice instead of colouring the box red).
  • if you do not make a choice, but write or sign on the ballot paper.
  • if you use a colour other than red to cast your vote.
  • if you write or sign anything on the ballot paper that might reveal your identity.
  • if your vote was cast on a different ballot paper than the one issued to you at the polling station

What can I do if I accidentally invalidate my vote?
Have you accidentally invalidated your ballot paper, or made a mistake? Then you can ask one of the polling officials at the polling station for a new ballot paper.

Is my vote secret?
The voting is secret. The voting booths are positioned so that no one can see who you are voting for. Only people with physical disabilities are allowed assistance in the voting booth. All other voters vote alone.

After you have made your choice, you fold the ballot paper so that your choice is not visible. Then you put the ballot paper in the ballot box that corresponds to the colour bar of the ballot paper.

You do not have to disclose to anyone who or what party you voted for. People who force you to do this, for example by demanding a photo of your completed ballot paper, are punishable. Do you feel pressured to give up the secrecy of your vote? Then it is important to report this immediately.

Why is it important for me to vote?
The First and Second Chamber also make decisions about the three public entities. Influencing the composition of the First Chamber will (indirectly) influence the decisions taken there. Cast your vote on the 15th of March. Because every vote counts!

Need more information?
Check out the Facebook page 'Electoral Colleges 2023'