Electoral Commission of Jamaica
The Senate passed the Electoral Commission (Interim) Act 2006 on October 20th, 2006, clearing the way for the creation of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ). Its responsibility is to protect the electoral process from the immediate direction, influence and control of the Government, which may influence its functioning to the detriment of persons with opposing views who may wish to participate in the process.
In addition to conducting general elections, by-elections and referenda, the Commission is responsible for compiling and maintaining the register of eligible electors; verifying the identity of every eligible elector; approving political parties eligible to receive state funding; and administering electoral funding and financial disclosure requirements.
The Commission comprises four selected members, four nominated members which include two persons nominated by the Prime Minister and two nominated by the Leader of the Opposition, and the Director of Elections.
The Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) came into being on December 1, 2006. The Commission replaced the Electoral Advisory Committee (EAC) that had been established in 1979. The EAC paved the way for the establishment of the Commission which is now a permanent independent and autonomous authority that reports directly to Parliament.
Membership of the Electoral Commission is governed by the Electoral Commission (Interim) Act (2006).
The mission of the Electoral Office of Jamaica is to so conduct national elections that no unfair advantage is given to any party or individual contesting the polls, ensuring that the objective of one man one vote is met under the six stated principles of Universal Adult Suffrage. These principles are:
The Vote is Universal
All citizens who meet the qualifications established by law have the right to vote.
The Vote is Free
The elector is entitled to vote free.
The Vote is Secret
The process guarantees not to publicize the preference or will of any elector.
The Vote is Direct
The citizen elects the Representative of his choice.
The Vote is Personal
The Elector shall attend in person at his/her designated polling station.
The Vote is Non-transferrable
The Elector cannot transfer to anyone his right to vote.
To become a leading world class election management body by optimizing and directing available resources to achieve greater transparency, credibility, integrity and professionalism in election management and administration; vigorously promote the principles of fairness, accountability and good governance and; ensure that elections are conducted in accordance with the law thereby giving effect to the will of the people.
What We Do:
- Conduct local government and parliamentary elections and referenda
- Monitor electoral funding and financial disclosure requirements
- Determine polling division and constituency boundaries
- Use Geographic Information System (GIS) to record and define boundaries
- Continuous registration of electors and residence verification of applicants
- Prepare the voters’ list, updated every six months on May 31 and November 30 of each year
- Print and issue voter ID cards. We also produce ID cards for external agencies
- Conduct external elections for schools, universities, associations and organisations
- Recruit and train Election Day workers
- Produce and print electoral maps for planning and general information.
- Voter education