With less than five months until Jersey’s next General Election, which takes place on 22 June ’22, an education and awareness campaign has been launched by Vote.je – Jersey’s Official Voting Guide. The five-month campaign is designed to help drive up voter engagement and encourage more Islanders to consider standing for election.
In 2021, several changes to the election process were agreed by the States Assembly, which were sanctioned by the Privy Council last week. These include:
- The role of Senator will no longer exist
- Eight new Deputy roles will be part of the 49-person States Assembly
- Nine electoral districts have been established for the election of Deputies to provide more even representation
- Changes to the nomination process*
- The establishment of the Jersey Electoral Authority to oversee the election process
- Postal voting will be available to all Islanders, whether on-Island for the election or not
- ‘None of the above’ will be on the ballot papers for roles where the number of candidates is the same as or less than the number of positions available, meaning nobody will be elected unopposed
To help Islanders understand what these changes mean for them, a leaflet is being delivered to all households this week. The leaflet also includes information about who can vote, how to register to vote and the process of standing for election. The leaflet has been distributed to households in English with links to the content on Vote.je in Portuguese, Polish and French on the front. Printed copies in all the languages will also be available from Parish Halls and other community venues by the end of the week.
To encourage Islanders to think about the issues they care most about when it comes to choosing who they want to represent them, an online survey has been created, the results of which will be used to help shape the hustings in June. To find out what local primary school students love most about Jersey, Islanders can visit Elizabeth Marina where over 700 metres of bunting illustrated with their images and words are on display until 14 February.
The campaign coincides with the launch of a new animation by the States Assembly, which explains the makeup and powers of the States Assembly and how it differs from the Government. The animation seeks to address a barrier to voting identified in the 2018 ComRes survey, which followed Jersey’s last General Election. Islanders reported not voting because they didn’t understand Jersey’s electoral system. The full animation is available on YouTube, with further animations to be rolled over the coming weeks and months.
Jenny O’Brien, Head of Digital and Public Engagement, said: “This year’s General Election will be very different to any election that has gone before. We are delighted to introduce new online and physical resources, which we hope will empower all Islanders to make their voice heard and vote, either in person on 22 June, or in advance by postal voting.
“With less than five months to go, we encourage everyone to take the first step of by finding out which Electoral District they are in, registering to vote, and considering the issues they care about the most ahead of candidate hustings.”