Forcing to issue voting pass is an offence

Island Governor Dr. Lydia Emerencia and Rijksvertegenwoordiger Wilbert Stolte have received signals from different angles that there are people who go to the districts to gather voting passes and even demand that people hand over their voting passes. This group of people say that this is a form of protest and in some cases even put people under pressure in order to hand in their voting passes.


The Island Governor and Rijksvertegenwoordiger are concerned about this development and clearly state that handing in a voting pass to someone else is only allowed when someone decides for himself to give a proxy to someone else, in order to vote for him/her.

It is not allowed to put someone under pressure in order to hand over his voting pass, or to vote for him. This can lead to an offence, according to article 131 of the (Criminal Code BES): "He who on the occasion of a prescribed election under legal requirement, by violence or threat of violence intentionally prevents someone from exercising his right to vote freely and unhindered, will be punished with imprisonment, to a maximum of one year.

Someone who is forced to hand in his voting pass, can’t collect a replacement pass at the Local Government of Bonaire. It is also impossible for people who lost their voting passes to collect a replacement pass, the deadline for this was September 10th. Without a voting pass it is not possible to vote.

If you don’t know which party to vote for, you can collect information on the political parties on their websites, where you can also find their political programmes. There are also several parties who are campaigning on the islands. The local government of Bonaire is responsible for the organisation of the Second Chamber (Tweede Kamer, Dutch Parliament) elections. RCN is responsible for the information campaign in order to stimulate people to vote and inform them on the rules on voting.

The Island Governor and Rijksvertegenwoordiger hereby repeat their advice to make use of the right to vote. It is an acquired right, which is not obvious everywhere in the world.