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Voters, turn out — your future depends on it

Well, the election has been called for July 18 and each side is presenting its ideas, past achievements and candidates.

As such, the electorate is deciding which side they will vote for or, indeed, whether or not they will actually vote. No matter which side of the divide one may find themselves, there are some facts that are important to keep in mind:

• Advance polling for persons travelling on or before July 18 takes place from July 11 to 13 at the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Hamilton

• Persons need to go to the Parliamentary Registrar before July 11 with travel documents to receive an advance voter’s certificate

• If you turn 18 on or before July 18, you are eligible to vote

Historical facts

• During the 2012 General Election, there were 43,652 registered voters

• Only 31,026, or 71 per cent, of registered voters came out to vote

• 15,949 One Bermuda Alliance votes

• 14,218 Progressive Labour Party votes

• 685 independent votes

• 174 spoilt ballots

• 12,626 registered voters did not vote

Looking at the numbers, one may be shocked to think nearly 13,000 persons refused to vote in the last election.

Bear in mind a large number of Bermudians have now moved overseas and will not return to vote.

That could account for perhaps 1,000 to 2,000 voters. So that leaves another 10,000 to 11,000 eligible voters who were on-island who effectively chose not to vote.

The reasons why they did not vote varies from person to person. Often we encounter those stating that they did not vote because they did not feel that their vote would make a difference.

Others stated that they did not know where they had to vote.

The reasons, or excuses, are too numerous to narrow down to any one particular explanation for not voting.

However, the reality is that every vote counts.

The staff of the Parliamentary Registrar deserve special thanks for their extremely informative campaign of letting the public know pertinent information. Via various media forms, such as social media, and television and radio adverts, they have informed the entire island of key points such as:

• Registration deadlines

• Reasons to vote

• Advance polling dates

• Polling stations

They truly exemplify professionalism, mixed with good, old Bermudian friendliness.

Over the next three weeks, campaign promises, slogans, pamphlets and candidates will make their way across the island in one form or another. On July 19, new numbers will be produced, seats will be won or lost and new MPs will be announced.

No matter who you support, we need to see an improvement in voter turnout. I humbly implore each and every one of the near-46,000 registered voters to find out where your polling stations are via elections.gov.bm, get to that polling station as early as possible and exercise your democratic right.

Your very future depends on your vote.

Christopher Famous is a Progressive Labour Party organiser. Reach out to him on WhatsApp at 599-0901 or e-mail carib_pro@yahoo.com