BVI News

Warning: Employers who prevent workers from voting will be imprisoned, fined

Supervisor of Elections, Juliette Penn

Ahead of advance polling day on Thursday (February 21), Supervisor of Elections Juliette Penn has issued a warning to employers not to bar their employees from voting or penalising their workers who are absent for a period to vote.

The election laws mandate that every employer must permit every voter under his/her employ “a reasonable period for voting”.

Any employer found guilty, in any way, of preventing their workers from voting will be fined and imprisoned.

While citing the territory’s election laws, Penn said: “Any employer who, directly or indirectly, refuses, or by intimidation, undue influence, or in any other way, interferes with the granting to any voter in his employ, of such period for voting, as in this section provided, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of five hundred dollars and to imprisonment for six months.”

Penn, in a media release Wednesday afternoon, also warned against “political propaganda” on polling day.

“No person shall furnish or supply any loudspeaker, bunting, ensign, banner, standard or set of colours, or any other flag to any person with intent that it shall be carried, worn or used on motor cars, trucks or other vehicles, as political propaganda on polling day. No person shall with any such intent carry, wear or use on motor cars, trucks or other vehicles, any such loudspeaker, bunting, ensign, banner, standard or set of colours, or any other flag on polling day,” the Elections Act says.

Other things Penn said were not permitted on polling day include selling or giving away alcohol at “any premises situated in any electoral district in which an election is being held”.

The use of cell phones are also not permitted at the polls.

Meanwhile, persons eligible to vote will need their voter registration card OR other government-issued identification such as a passport, driver’s licence or Belonger card.

In the event that they do not have one, they will not be deterred from voting, Penn said.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Asking for a friend, Can employers dictate what time we are allowed to go to vote or should we be allowed to go to vote when we are comfortable with the decision we are about to make?

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    • CS says:

      If you haven’t made up your mind after hearing from all the candidates, you may never feel comfortable at all so what is your point? Your employer has a business to run on election day and he/she has only the right to allow you time to vote and can schedule all employees that are eligible to vote at different times to ensure continuity of the business. It’s not about you alone. If everyone took that approach, it will be chaos in the Territory on Election Day. If you don’t want to go in the time allotted to you, then it means you don’t want to vote, but the employer has kept his end clear. However, there are some employers who are more flexible and allow employees to decide when they want to vote. But, if they don’t allow you the exact time that you want to go and vote, DO NOT cry foul!

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    • Bounty Hunter says:

      Seems like youre all about getting half day off than actually wanting to Vote.

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  2. Wonderful says:

    That is the way it is supposed to be. Anyone not following the above rules, should and need to be arrested on the spot.

  3. Victims says:

    Plz check R——- stores/R———– to ensure this. That white, micromanager MD will try to victimise employees. He already believes N——-t and himself are superior to the laws of the BVIs. We need country leaders willing to stand up for BVIslanders in the private sector and do right by us!

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  4. Lucky Dube says:

    Nice one! So when u imprison them, who will suffer the most, them or their staff who won’t have an employer to pay their wages?

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  5. Medical emergency team says:

    Hope they don’t give us a problem to vote through the day when we finally decide where to place that X. These are difficult times we are so under staffed. The new supervisor don’t even care or propose a solution for the problem but I guess we’ll see.

  6. CW says:

    What does “white” have to do with it? That’s not what makes him have any of the other traits you mention. YOUR COMMENT IS RACIST AND BY MAKING IT YOU ARE A RACIST. SHAME ON YOU.

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  7. @ CW says:

    Where is the racism? Because the word “white’ was written” Does the word “white” imply racism in that context?

    I think you ar stretching it here.

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  8. Reality says:

    Don’t see what all the fuss is about? responsible employees would make up the time wouldn’t they? – it would only be lazy irresponsible ones that would expect to rob their employer of time they are being paid for. In the UK people either vote v early in the morning or in the evening after they have finished work…so not a problem at all

    Like 2
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    • @Reality says:

      I agree why not have the voting done at the weekend like Nigeria? Most people don’t work on a Saturday. This lady sounds very heavy handed and an encouragement to act irresponsibly

  9. 4th District says:

    In some countries voting is done on Saturday and Sunday also next door in the Caymans you could vote on your cellphone and absentee persons could vote from abroad.
    Change must come.

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