Elections European Parliament 2019

On Thursday, May 23rd, the elections for the European Parliament take place. You can cast your vote between 7:30 AM and 9:00 PM on the island where you reside. The polling station on St. Eustatius is at the Ernest van Putten Youth Centre and on Saba at the Government Administration Building.

1. What is the European Parliament?

In the European Parliament, decisions are made about important subjects such as tourism, climate change and safety. Once every 5 years the Dutch members of the European Parliament are elected. By voting, you will help to decide who acts in terms of our Kingdom’s interests.

2. What am I voting for in the European Parliament elections?

We vote for the Dutch representatives in the European Parliament. In these elections you can cast your vote for a member of a national political party. The national parties from the different EU-Member States form a political group in the European Parliament. These political groups are not formed on the basis of nationality but on political color. The European groups are "wider" than the national political parties, which means that different national parties can fall into one European political group.

3. Can I vote?

Eligible to vote for the elections for the European Parliament in the Caribbean Netherlands are people with the Dutch nationality who are 18 years or older and are not excluded from the right to vote.

4. What do I need to bring in order to vote?

To vote, you need a valid identification. This can be a Dutch passport, or an ID card or driver’s license of the public entity. Your identification is allowed to be expired for a maximum of five years on election day and therefore its validity date must be at least May 24th, 2014. Is your identification expired for more than five years on election day? Then you can request a new identification at the Census Office.

5. How do I receive my personal voting pass?

Everyone who is eligible to vote receives a personal voting pass in the mail. Have you not received your voting pass? Or is your voting pass damaged or lost? Then you can request a new voting pass at the Census Office. This can be done in writing until Monday, May 20th, or in person until Wednesday, May 22nd, no later than 12:00 noon. In both cases you will need to bring your valid identification and personally pick up the voting pass at the Census Office.

6. Where are the polling stations located?

You may vote at one of the following polling stations:

St. Eustatius

Ernest van Putten Youth Centre

Saba

Government Administration Building

For the European Parliament Elections, voters can request to be allowed to vote in any polling station within the area to which the election applies (in this case on any of the BES islands and in the European part of the Netherlands). A voter pass must be requested to do so. The Census Office has a form for this. Hand in that form by Monday, May 20th, 2019 at the latest, or request a voter pass at the counter by Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019, until 12:00 noon.

7. What if I am unable to vote?

If you are unable to cast your vote on May 23rd, you can ask someone else to cast your vote on your behalf by means of a proxy. This can be done in two ways:

Written proxy:
If you would like to make use of a written proxy you will need to pick-up a form at the Census Office. Fill out the form completely. Make sure that the form is signed both by you and by the person you are authorizing to vote on your behalf. Hand in the completed form at the Census Office no later than on Monday, May 20th. They will inform the authorized person when the voting pass can be picked up.

Private proxy:
By filling out the form on the back of your voting pass you become the “principal,” and the person who will be voting on your behalf will be the “authorized person.” Provide the authorized person with your voting pass and a copy of your identification.

Important:

  • Prevent abuse of your ID. Write on the copy of your identification that it is only meant to be used for casting your proxy vote and ask the authorized person to return the copy after they casted your vote.
  • The person who votes on your behalf must be living on the same island as you and can only cast your proxy vote at the same time they deposit their own vote.
  • The authorized person can deposit a maximum of two votes on behalf of other people.

Warning!

  • Only give someone power of attorney on your behalf if you are unable to go vote yourself.
  • Bribery and buying of votes by means of gifts or promises in order to gain power of attorney to vote are illegal and punishable by law.
  • The person who is being bribed or whose vote is bought is punishable by law as well.
  • If anyone pressures you into giving them power of attorney to vote, report this to the authorities. As a victim you will not be prosecuted.

8. What should I do in the voting booth?

  • You vote by yourself. You cannot be accompanied in the voting booth.
  • You cast your vote by coloring the entire white box next to the candidate of your choice with the red colored pencil.
  • Made a mistake? Ask for a new voting ballot. You can only do so once.
  • After casting your vote, fold the ballot so that the list is not visible.
  • Place your voting ballot in the corresponding ballot box

9. Can I cast a blank vote?

You may cast a blank vote. You do so by not coloring any box. In that case the voting ballot is left completely empty. If you write or draw anything on the voting ballot, you will cast an invalid vote instead of a blank vote.

10. When is my vote valid?

You vote for one single candidate. Your vote is valid when you color in the entire white box next to the candidate of your choice with the red pencil without writing or drawing anything else on the ballot.

11. Is my vote secret?

Voting is secret. You are not required to tell anyone who or which party you voted for. People who pressure you are punishable by law. If you feel pressured or threatened in any way, you can report this to the authorities.