Elections and voting
When are elections held in Jersey
The elections for Connétables and Deputies are held on the same day. From May 2018, both types of States member will serve for a four year term of office.
By-elections are held when a States member resigns, dies, is removed from office or is elected to another office mid-term, for example a Deputy may resign before the end of the four year term, resulting in a by-election for a new Deputy.
Centeniers and Honorary Officers are elected for a term of three years and these elections can be held in any month.
Standing for Election
If you want to stand for election you must:
- be at least 18 years old
- be a British citizen who has been –
(a) resident in Jersey for at least 2 years up to and including the day of the election, or
(b) resident in Jersey for 6 months up to and including the day of the election, as well as a total period of 5 years previously
If you want to stand for election as a Connétable you also need to live in the parish where you want to stand as a candidate unless you want to stand in St. Helier, in which case you just have to be a ratepayer in the parish of St. Helier.
Disqualification for Office
Any person who:
- holds any paid office or other place of profit under the Crown;
- is a member of the States of Jersey Police Force;
- is compulsorily held or subject to a guardianship order under the Mental Health (Jersey) Law 1969;
- has a curator of their person or property;
- has a lawyer without whom they may not act in matters movable or immovable;
- has become bankrupt or made a composition or arrangement with his or her creditors;
- has been convicted of an offence under the Corruption (Jersey) Law 2006 by virtue of that person being, within the meaning of that Law, a public official or a member, officer or employee of a public body;
- or within the 7 years prior to or since election, has been convicted, whether in Jersey or elsewhere, of any offence and ordered to be imprisoned for a period of not less than 3 months, without the option of a fine.
Who may stand for election as Centenier or other Honorary Officer of a Parish
Any person who is a British subject having reached the age of twenty and not being older than sixty-nine years on the date of the nomination. A person can only qualify for office if they are an elector of the Parish, a ratepayer or in the Parish of St Helier, are a Mandataire for a company.
If you decide to stand for election, you need to complete a nomination form and if you are standing for the office of Deputy, a declaration of convictions. See website.
The cost of standing for election
The Public Elections (Expenditure and Donations) (Jersey) Law 2014 sets out limits on the amount that candidates can spend when standing for election. The Law also requires candidates to declare the amount they have spent and what donations they received after the elections. Non- compliance is a criminal offence.
Rules are set out in the Law for third parties who campaign for or against candidates without the knowledge or agreement of those candidates.
Who is entitled to vote in Jersey
Any person aged over 16 whose name appears on the Electoral Register can vote in public elections in Jersey.
The Electoral Register
Under the Public Elections (Jersey) Law 2002, Article 5 provides that a person is entitled on a particular day to have their name included on the electoral register for an electoral district on that day if:
- the person is at least 16 years old;
- the person is ordinarily resident in that electoral district:
- and the person has been:-
- ordinarily resident in the Island for a period of at least two years up to and including that day; or
- ordinarily resident in the Island for a period of at least six months up to and including that day, as well as having been ordinarily resident in the Island at any time for an additional period of, or for additional periods that total, at least five years.
- A person is not entitled to have their name included on the electoral registers for more than one electoral district at the same time.
Registration on the Electoral Register
You can register online here.
Application forms are sent to every unit of living accommodation by the Constable of the Parish. These should be completed to include every resident of the property who is over the age of 16. The forms should be returned to the Parish Hall by a date states. Each Constable is required to prepare a separate electoral register for each electoral district in the Parish.
The Draft Electoral Register compiled by the Parish from these returns is available for public inspection in the Parish Halls. A person may only vote in a public election if their name appears on the relevant electoral register.
People whose names have not been included can ask for them to be added at any time if they fulfil the requirements to be eligible to vote. Incorrect information can be amended.
Failure to complete and send back the Electoral Register form
The penalty for not completing and returning the form can be a £500 fine. It is, however, very rare for prosecutions to be brought and the last prosecution in St Helier was in 1984.
Where do you vote
In the case of Parish elections for Constable or Centenier, the polling station is normally the Parish Hall.
In public elections to the States, polling stations will be set up in the electoral districts in the larger parishes and voters must attend the station linked to the electoral district in which they live.
Voting before election day
Anyone who is registered to vote can pre-poll vote in the weeks leading up to an election.
For 3 weeks before an election is held, a pre-poll voting station will be set up in town during the week and, in States Assembly elections, out-of-town voting stations will be open on Saturdays to make it easier for you to vote.
If you are registered to vote and will be out of the Island on election day, you can apply for a postal vote.
If you are registered to vote you will be able to vote by post if:
- You will be out of the Island during the hours of polling; or
- You have registered to vote, but your name and address have been deliberately omitted from the electoral register because there is a risk or threat of harm to you.
To receive a postal vote, you will need to complete an application form and return it to the Judicial Greffe, Royal Court House, Royal Square, St. Helier, JE1 1JG, by no later than the date published on the form.
When the Judicial Greffe receives your application, they will send you everything that you need to cast your vote:
You will receive your ballot papers and a ballot paper envelope. Mark an ‘x’ next to the people you want to vote for then Fill out and sign the declaration of identity form.
Put the ballot paper envelope and the declaration of identity form inside the return envelope and post it back to the Judicial Greffe in time to meet the published deadline.
If you are ill, have a disability or have difficulty reading and writing
Anyone who is ill or disabled or has difficulty reading or writing and is registered to vote can vote before or on election day.
If you fall ill on election day and cannot make it to your polling station, you can vote by using a ‘sick vote’. To use a sick vote, contact your Parish Hall as soon as possible on election day and they will send an official to you to take your vote.
If you know you will not be able to go to your polling station to vote on election day, you can arrange to vote in advance by arranging a home visit. Contact your Parish Hall or download and complete an application form for a pre-poll home visit and return it to the Judicial Greffe, Royal Court House, Royal Square, St. Helier, JE1 1JG.
Voting on election day
If you are registered to vote, you can vote on Election Day in the parish you are registered in. A pre-polling station is sometimes available in the week before Election Day. Polling station opening hours will be published on www.vote.je as soon as the election date has been set.
You can vote for candidates standing in your District for Deputies and in your Parish for Constables. You can check your District here.
When you go to vote you will need to take photographic identification with you, such as a driving licence or a passport. You will be greeted by staff who will mark your name off on the electoral register and give you your ballot papers. You will then be able to go to the voting booth to cast your vote by putting an ‘x’ beside the name of your preferred candidate. You will be asked to place your ballot paper into the ballot box.
Parish officials will be at the polling station and will be able to help you if you have any questions.