VOTER DISPARITY: Seven constituencies have well over 6,000 registered voters

VOTER DISPARITY: Seven constituencies have well over 6,000 registered voters

More than 190,000 registered ahead of general election

Golden Isles has largest number of registered voters, with 7,391

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — With just over a week before the general election, the voter’s register published by the Parliamentary Registration Department yesterday shows that seven constituencies have well over 6,000 registered voters.

Another 12 constituencies, including three on New Providence — Fort Charlotte, Englerston and St Barnabas — have fewer than 5,000 people registered for the general election.

The remaining nine constituencies with fewer than 5,000 registered voters are located on the Family Islands.

With the exception of Pineridge and West Grand Bahama, the remaining three seats on Grand Bahama have over 6,200 registered voters.

Total registered voters for the upcoming general election stand at 194,524.

The general election is next Thursday.

A total of 19,485 registered voters are eligible to participate in the advance poll set for Thursday, according to the Parliamentary Registration Department.

There were 172,128 people registered to vote in the 2012 general election.

More than 174,000 people registered in the last general election.

There are 4,830 registered voters in Bain and Grants Town; 5,860 in Bamboo Town, 6,042 in Carmichael; 5,218 in Centreville; 5,709 in Elizabeth; 4,923 in Engerlston; 4,978 in Fort Charlotte; 6,041 in Fox Hill; 4,869 in Freetown; 5,321 in Garden Hills; 5,490 in Golden Gates; 7,391 in Golden Isles; 7,112 in Killarney; 5,368 on Marathon; 5,345 in Mount Moriah; 5,702 in Nassau Village; 5,374 in Pinewood; 5,475 in St Anne’s; 4,603 in St Barnabas; 5,704 in Seabreeze; 5,625 in South Beach; 5,618 in Southern Shores; 6,243 in Tall Pines; and 5,268 in Yamacraw.

A total of 1,679 people are registered to vote in Cat Island Rum Cay and San Salvador; 3,295 in Central and South Abaco; 3,904 in Central and South Eleuthera; 3,515 on North Eleuthera; 1,836 on Long Island; 2,335 on Mangrove Cay and South Andros; 2,726 on North Andros and the Berry Islands; 1,392 on MICAL; 5,106 on North Abaco; 3,600 in Exuma and Ragged Island;

A total of 6,810 people are registered to vote in Central Grand Bahama; 6,561 in East Grand Bahama; 6,287 on MARCO City; 5,670 in Pineridge; and 5,700 in West Grand Bahama.

A report submitted by Constituencies Commission Chairman Halson Moultrie, the speaker of the House of Assembly, concluded that the majority of commission members recommended no change to the boundaries.

However, Moultrie recommended 43 constituencies, with a quota of 5,000 voters per constituency plus or minus five percent for New Providence and Grand Bahama — with the number of seats increasing to 26 on New Providence and six on the second city.

He also recommended that MICAL be split into the constituency of Inagua and Mayaguana and the constituency of Acklins, Crooked Island and Long Cay, for practical and geographical reasons.

He further estimated that the consideration would require a budget increase of $112,000 and pointed to the 1992 election when there were 49 seats with a voting population of 122,952.

As an alternative opinion, the speaker noted in the report that the existing 39 seats could be maintained by reconfiguring the constituency boundaries on New Providence to achieve greater parity.

Leader of Government Business Renward Wells said the remaining members of the commission rejected the report and indicated that they intended to write to the governor general to reject it.

Those members called the move by Moultrie a “clear and flagrant breach of the constitution”.

Other members of the commission include co-chair Supreme Court Justice Deborah Fraser and Marco City MP Michael Pintard.

Amid accusations from Moultrie that Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis had “undermined” the commission’s report, the prime minister said the work of the body proceeded without his involvement, to the best of his knowledge.

The prime minister can legally call an election in the absence of the commission’s reporting, if it is called prior to February 2022.