questions and answers

There’s a lot going on when it comes to the elections. We do our best to make everything as clear as possible for everyone. Like answering the most frequently asked questions below.

Is your question not answered here? Then please contact us.

WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT VOTING?

in this election, those that are entitled to vote are persons who are residents of the public entity on nomination day (January 30, 2023) and who are 18 years or older on election day (March 15, 2023). Residents who are not Dutch nationals must meet the following requirements in order to be eligible to vote:

1. They must reside lawfully in the Netherlands on the basis of Article 3 or Article 6 of the BES Admission and Expulsion Act or on the basis of a treaty between an international organization and the State of the Netherlands regarding the seat of this organization in the Netherlands,

AND:

2. They must have been a resident of the Netherlands for an uninterrupted period of at least five years immediately prior to the day of nomination . In addition, during that period they must have had a right of residence as referred to under a, or have resided lawfully in the Netherlands pursuant to Article 8, under a., b., c., d., e., or l., of the Aliens Act 2000.

Neither Dutch nor non-Dutch nationals may be excluded from the right to vote.

The public entity derives the right to vote from the personal data base. If you are included in this and you meet the above criteria, you will automatically receive a call (the voting ballot) for the election. You can contact the Executive Council to check whether you are registered as a voter. If this turns out not to be the case and you still believe that you meet the above criteria, you can submit a request for a review of your registration as a voter, where you must provide evidence that you meet the criteria.

 

  • On Election Day you can vote from 7:30 m. until 9 p.m. at any polling station on Bonaire. Just show your personal ballot paper and valid ID.

This can either be a Dutch passport, an identity card or a sedula. You can’t vote without a ballot card and valid proof of identity!

CLICK HERE FOR AN OVERVIEW OF ALL POLLING STATIONS ON BONAIRE

The elections are on 15 March, 2023. You can vote between 7:30 a.m. and 9 pm, at any polling station on Bonaire upon presentation of your personal ballot card and valid ID

This can either be a Dutch passport, an identity card or a sedula. You can’t vote without a ballot card and valid proof of identity!

CLICK HERE FOR AN OVERVIEW OF ALL POLLING STATIONS ON BONAIRE

WHAT KIND OF ELECTIONS ARE THESE?

The Public Entity Bonaire has an Island Council and an Executive Council. Together they form the Island Government. The Island Council is elected by the inhabitants of Bonaire. This election happens once every four years, when you can vote for the candidates of the political parties.

  • In 2023, Dutch people on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba will be able to influence the composition of the First Chamber (similar to the Senate), just like Dutch people living in the European part of the Netherlands. For this purpose, a so-called Electoral College for the First Chamber has been established for each island. These Electoral Colleges consist of representatives of the public entities who, together with the members of the provincial states and the members of the Electoral College for Dutch voters abroad (Electoral College for non-residents), vote for the elections of the First Chamber.

More information about Electoral College elections can be found on the website of the National Government of the Caribbean Netherlands / Electoral College 2023. NB:  This page is currently not available in English.

More information about Electoral College elections can be found on the website of the National Government of the Caribbean Netherlands / Electoral College 2023 .

WHAT DO I NEED TO VOTE?

The ballot card is your ticket to the election. You can’t vote without a ballot card. The ballot card is both ‘proof of invitation’ and the exclusive evidence of your entitlement to vote. Possession of this card is proof for the polling station that you haven’t yet cast your vote at another polling station. With a ballot card you can vote on your island, in a polling station of your choice (provided there are several polling stations in the public entity). The ballot card is provided with security features and a unique number.

Didn’t receive your ballot card? You can apply for a replacement ballot card in good time, from March 1, 2023, via Burgerzaken (Civil Affairs). The replacement ballot card can be picked up on March 14,2023 until 12 p.m. at the Civil Affairs Department on Kaya Neerlandia.

Citizens who lost their ballot card and want a duplicate can pick it up at the Civil Affairs Department (Burgerzaken) until March 14, at 12 p.m. at the latest. After this time it’s no longer possible to collect a ballot card duplicate.

  • In order to vote, you’ll need to bring your ballot card and valid proof of identity.
    This can be either your Dutch passport, identity card (sedula) or a driver’s license from the public body.

 

You won’t be allowed to vote without your ballot card and valid proof of identity!

 

The validity of these documents may have expired at the time of voting for a maximum of five years. In other words: the documents must state ‘valid until’ 15 March 2018 or a later date. If you discover before the election that your ID has expired for more than five years, you can request a new ID document from the Civil Affairs Department (Census Office) in good time. Take the processing time into account. If you discover on March 15, 2023 that your ID has expired for more than five years, you won’t be able to vote.

You vote for one candidate on one political party list. The names of the candidates appear on the parties’ lists of candidates. The number one on the list is the party leader.

Every polling station looks different. Each polling station will have a table where the polling station members will be sitting, as well as one or more voting booths. There will be a minimum of three, and a maximum of seven polling station members. The polling station checks your ballot card and your ID document. You’ll receive your ballot paper once you’ve shown those documents.

 

  • You vote (alone) in the voting booth. The arrangement of voting booths in the polling station should be in such a way, that no one can see who you’re voting for. Fold your ballot paper if you’re worried that people can see whether you’re making your choice on the left or right side of the ballot paper.

 

The Electoral Act doesn’t allow curtains to be hung in front of voting booths. After voting, put the folded ballot paper in the ballot box. This is equipped with a lock.

  • Have your ballot card and ID ready
  • Make sure polling station members can see the voting booths
  • Keep sufficient distance from voting booths
  • You vote alone. You won’t go into the voting booth with several people
  • You vote by coloring the white box for the candidate of your choice red
  • If you make a mistake, ask for a new ballot. You can do that only once
  • You fold up the form after completing it, so that the list is not visible

You can cast a blank vote if you don’t want to choose a candidate, but do want to use your right to vote. You can do this by going into the voting booth, without adding anything to the ballot paper. Make sure the ticket remains completely empty. If you write or draw something on the ballot, you’re not voting blank, but invalidating your vote.

 

Your blank vote has no influence on the distribution of seats. A blank vote therefore doesn’t go to any party. It only counts in determining the turnout for the election.

By marking the box for the candidate of your choice red with the pencil, without writing or drawing anything else on the ballot paper.

 

A vote is invalid:

– when you don’t make a choice, but do write or draw on the ballot paper

– when your vote has been cast on a different ballot paper than the one handed out to you at the polling station

– when you don’t make it clear who you’re voting for (e.g. by making several boxes red, or only putting an arrow next to the name of the candidate of your choice instead of marking the box red)

– when you use a color other than red to cast your vote

– when you write or draw something on the ballot paper that makes it possible to identify your identity

If you have accidentally invalidated your ballot paper, or if you made a mistake, you can request a new ballot paper once from one of the polling station members in the polling station.

The vote is secret. The arrangement of the voting booths in the polling station should be in such a way that no one can see who you’re voting for. Only people with a disability are allowed to get help in the voting booth. All other voters vote alone. After you’ve made and checked your choice, fold the ballot papers in such a way that your choices are not visible. Then put the ballot papers in the ballot box.

 

You don’t have to disclose to anyone who or which party you voted for. People who force you to do this, for example by demanding a photo of the ballot paper you filled in, are punishable by law. If you feel pressured to give up your voting secrecy, you should report this immediately.

On Wednesday, March 15, 2023, the new members of the Island Council will be elected. Your vote counts towards the number of votes for a seat. The Island Council has 9 seats on Bonaire.

 

The Island Council is the highest body of general management. The Island Council supervises the activities of the Executive Council and adopts island ordinances.

By voting, you and the other voters determine which party or parties will take a seat on the Island Council. This way you influence the decision-making of the public body for the next four years.

Your vote! For your future, your well-being, your prosperity, your Bonaire!

WHO DOES WHAT?

The Public Entity Bonaire has an Island Council and an Executive Council. Together they form the Island Government. The Island Council is elected by the inhabitants of Bonaire. This election happens once every four years, when you can vote for the candidates of the political parties.

The members of the Island Council represent the inhabitants of Bonaire. Island Council members should listen carefully to what’s happening on Bonaire, so they can be aware of what it is that the inhabitants of Bonaire want. They then have to make plans for Bonaire and its residents. This also means that Island Council members determine where the money goes. They then check whether their plans are being implemented properly and whether the desired results are being achieved.

The details and implementation of the plans lie with the Executive Council: they are the executive board of Bonaire. The Executive Council is accountable to the Island Council. In addition, the Executive Council must perform a number of statutory tasks. In short: the Executive Council governs and implements, and the Island Council determines policy and checks this is being followed.

Main location and contact:
Kaya Neerlandia 40, Kralendijk
T +599 715 5314
verkiezingenbonaire@bonairegov.com

Opening hours:
Daily from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
On March 15, 2023, all polling stations will be open from 7:30 AM to 9:00 PM