Island Council Elections 2023
Vote on the 15th of March!
On the 15th of March you can vote for the Island Council elections.
The Island Council is the highest body of general government. The Island Council determines what should be done on Bonaire and supervises the work of the Executive Council.
By voting, you and other voters decide what the composition of the Island Council for the next four years will be. With your vote, you determine how Bonaire will develop in the coming four years.
All the information about casting your vote can be found below.
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.
Who can vote?
You are allowed to vote for the Island Council if you:
- are aged 18 or over on the day of the elections
- are a resident of the Public Entity (island) on the 30th of January2023 (A resident is a person who is registered in the basic administration of the Civil Registry of the island.)
- Have the Dutch nationality or if you are a lawful resident of the Netherlands and had been a resident of the Netherlands continuously for at least five years before the 30th of January 2023 and had a valid residence permit.
- have not been excluded from the right to vote
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.
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.
|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|
|The Ernest van Putten Youth Center (Lions Den)||Concordiaweg 24|
|The Earl Merkman Sports Complex||Sandyroad|
|Eugenius Johnson Center
|Sunny Valley Youth Center|
What should I do if I don't have a voting pass (anymore)?
Every eligible voter receives a voting pass at home. Did you not receive one, or did it break or get lost? Apply for a new voting pass as soon as possible. This can be done in writing until Friday the 10th of March or at the counter until Tuesday the 14th of March 12 noon. To do so, come to Census officewith a valid identity document.
What should I do if I cannot vote myself?
Are you unable to vote yourself, e.g. because you are ill or abroad? Then you can ask another voter to vote for you. This is called authorisation. You can only authorise someone if you really cannot go and vote yourself.
How does authorisation work?
You can authorise another voter in two ways: by private proxy or by written proxy.
- Private proxy
To authorise someone else, fill in the back of your voting card. 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 card. You thereby declare who can vote on your behalf. You also give the voter who votes for you a copy of your ID. This is required, otherwise the proxy cannot cast your (proxy) vote.
- Written proxy
If you want to use a written power of attorney, you need to collect a form from Citizens' Affairs. Complete this form in full. Make sure the form includes your signature and the signature of the person you want to authorise to cast your vote. Hand in the completed form to the Island Governor office on Bonaire and on Saba and Sint Eustatius to the Census office no later than Friday the 10th of March 2023. They will let the authorised representative know when the written proxy is ready.
Has your proof of identity expired more than five years ago? Then you can only use a written proxy to ask another voter to vote for you.
Please note: an authorized person may cast a maximum of two votes for others per election.
- Only give a proxy if you are unable to vote yourself.
- It is prohibited to bribe voters by gift or promise to give a proxy.
- Those who allow themselves to be bribed are also punishable under the Elections Act.
- Are you being pressured by someone to give a proxy? Report this to the police. If you are coerced, you are a victim and not punishable. The perpetrator is.
- Prevent misuse of your identity document. Write on the copy that it is only to be used to cast your proxy vote and ask for the copy back after voting.
Who can I authorise?
- The voter who casts a vote for you must live on the same island as you.
- He or she can only vote for you at the same time as he or she votes for you.
- A proxy may cast a maximum of two votes for others per election.
If it is not possible for an employee to vote outside working hours, the employer is obliged to give the employee time to do so. Employees can be granted up to 2 hours of leave.
Who can I authorise?
You can authorise a person if that person:
- can also cast a vote himself/herself for the same election
- lives on the same island
- casts your vote at the same time as his/her own vote
A voter can vote for a maximum of two other voters in an election.
You choose whether to ask someone else to vote for you. Someone else may not ask or pressure you to hand over your voting card. You also choose who you ask to vote for you. So never just hand over your voting card. Abusing the opportunity to vote by proxy is punishable. It is forbidden to bribe someone or promise a gift in exchange for his/her voting card. It is also punishable if you allow yourself to be bribed to hand over your voting card.
Who can I vote for?
You vote for one candidate. Before the election, you will receive a list at home with the names of the candidates you can vote for.
How does voting work?
Voting follows these steps:
- At the polling station, hand your voting card to the polling station member. Show your ID as well. The polling station member checks your voting card and ID.
- You will then be given a ballot paper.
- The ballot paper lists all the lists (parties) participating in the elections. It also lists all the candidates you can vote for.
- You (only) vote in the polling booth. Only when you need help in the polling booth because of your physical condition, someone may accompany you to help you.
- You vote by making the box for the candidate of your choice red. You can also leave the ballot paper blank. This is called blank voting. If you have made a mistake, ask for a new ballot paper. You can do this once.
- You fold the ballot paper after filling it in so that your choice is not visible.
- After voting, put the 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, you will receive a separate ballot paper for each election (when submitting both voting passes). Fill in the ballot papers in the polling booth and put them in the ballot box provided.
Can I vote blank?
Don't want to elect a candidate but still want to use your right to vote? Then you can cast a blank vote. You then go to the polling booth, but do not elect a candidate. So you do not fill in anything on the ballot paper.
Your blank vote has no influence on the distribution of seats. A blank vote or a vote not cast does not go to the largest party. A blank vote does count when determining the turnout of the election.
When is my vote valid?
When you turn the box for the candidate of your choice red with the pencil or when you leave the ticket completely blank (a blank vote).
When is my vote invalid?
A vote is invalid:
- when you do not make it clear who you are voting for (for example, by making several boxes red, or only putting an arrow by the name of the candidate of your choice instead of making the box red).
- when you do not make a choice, but write or sign on the ballot paper.
- when you use a colour other than red to cast your vote
- when you write or sign something on the ballot paper which might reveal your identity.
- when your vote is cast on a different ballot paper than the one you received at the polling station
What can I do if I accidentally invalidated 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 vote is secret. The polling booths are positioned so that no one can see who you are voting for. Only people with physical disabilities are allowed assistance in the polling booth. All other voters vote alone.
After you have made your choice, fold the ballot paper so that your choice is not visible. Then you put the ballot paper in the ballot box that matches the colour bar on the ballot paper.
You do not have to reveal to anyone who or which 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 your right to vote? Then you should report this immediately.
Why should you vote?
By voting, you decide what the composition of the Island Council will be in the next four years. Your vote influences the decision-making of the Island Council and the future of your island. On Wednesday the 15th of March you will choose the person who will represent you.
Need more information?
Check out the Facebook page 'Island Council Elections 2023'