Sat | Oct 20, 2018

Register to Vote: Here's How

Published:Monday | March 23, 2015 | 12:00 AM

With so much talk of elections in the air, do you know how to get your name on the current voters' list? Here are some tips to make it happen.

Registering to vote is the process by which an individual applies to be included on the voters' list.

The Jamaican Constitution and the Representation of the People Act (ROPA) allow for the registration of two specific groups of persons:

i) Qualified Jamaicans who are at least 18 years old and are ordinarily resident in Jamaica by birth or naturalisation.

ii) Commonwealth citizens living in Jamaica and who have been resident for a period not less than 12 consecutive months preceding the application for registration.

When registering these persons, the following guidelines must be adhered to:

Accurately and completely collect the four categories of information required on the "Registration Record Card" (RRC) as follows:

1. Signature

2. Fingerprints

3. Demographic information

4. Photograph

There are two types of registration:


Internal Registration is done at the EOJ Constituency office for applicants who reside within the constituency in which they are applying. This can also be done at the elector's home in the event that they are physically challenged. The office is open from Monday to Friday.

External Registration

External registration is done when applicants from another constituency may be registered at any constituency office.

When you go to be registered, you will be asked whether you had been previously registered. The office staff members must also check the system to verify whether your name appears on the voters' list, and if it is not, then they will proceed to have you registered.

Registration At Home

If you are physically challenged and the indigent (shut-in), registration may be conducted at your home, and the same procedure will be followed as it would be done at the constituency office, except the certificate of enumeration is not granted provisionally as the applicant is duly registered. No residence verification is required.

The following procedures are to be adhered to:

n Electors requesting registration to be done for their relatives or friends who are incapable of appearing at the constituency office are to be given a Request for Registration at Home Form, which the person in question will complete and return to the office.

n Checks should be made to ensure that the form is completed and signed. Checks should also be made to verify that the person is not already on the voters' list. They should also check the reason home registration is required.

n If it is revealed that the person to be registered at home is neither indigent nor incapacitated in a manner that would prevent the individual from coming to the constituency office, the request will not be honoured.

Registration should be ideally scheduled for days when residence verification normally takes place. An explanation should be given to the applicant that a return visit may be necessary as the fingerprints may fail on entering them into the system.