This part (54), Mr. Sophan Seng elaborated about the meeting with NEC’s officials on February 19, 2016. Mr. Sophan Seng who is the leader of the CEROC, was honored to meeting H.E.Kuoy Bunroeun, Deputy of NEC at the head office to discuss the right to vote of Cambodians overseas.
The meeting was anticipated by two permanent members and two deputy secretaries of the current NEC. The discussion is summarized following:
Mr. Sophan Seng highly valued the new NEC that is better and more independent than before including the high expectation of its performance for this upcoming commune election 2017 and national election 2018. Precisely, he addressed the need to allow and facilitate access for Cambodians overseas to vote in Cambodia elections (inclusiveness). The CEROC’s objectives are: – to organize suggestions, petitions, and participation of all Cambodians overseas, and – to produce paper work on mechanism, technical and comparative studies through researches and academic gatherings.
Solution: H.E. Kuoy Bunroeun welcomed the tasks of research and recommended to submit petition through a right channel. NEC is implementing in accordance to the existing laws solely.
2. In the future, the NEC shall prepare high ranking officer(s) to visit Khmers diaspora to interact with them about the progress of the NEC.
3. H.E. Kuoy Bunroeun debriefed the advantage and disadvantage points of the new NEC following:
Institutionalized into Cambodia Constitution
Procedures, mechanism, and implementation of the NEC
Election laws: new voter registration using fingerprint, photos and computer database etc.
Able to make all decision makings
– Population database and identity matching are under limit
– Ability of NEC’s staffs especially in each voting booth (PSO) is under limit
– Infrastructure such as electricity is very limited
Pertinent topic of #Politikoffee this week: “Rights to Vote of Cambodians Overseas”
Our honor to welcome Mr. Sophoan Seng as our speaker. Mr. Sophan is the:
– Leader of Commission for Elections Rights of Overseas Cambodians (CEROC)
– Deputy Returning Officer for Elections Canada 2014-2015, Calgary Forest Lawn Electoral District
-Founder of Cambodian Leadership Skills
– Graduate of University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA, (MA, PhD Candidate)
Voting by Special Ballot for Canadian Forces Electors
During federal elections and referendums, Canadian Forces electors can vote, by mail or at polling stations set up in their units, using a special ballot. This method of voting is governed by the Special Voting Rules, Part 11 of the Canada Elections Act. Canadian Forces electors who are residing in the electoral district of the address shown on their Statement of Ordinary Residence at the time of a general election may also vote at a civilian polling station in that electoral district, provided they have not already voted by special ballot.
Canadian Forces electors are Canadians who have reached the age of 18 and are members of the Canadian Forces or teachers or administrative support staff in Canadian Forces schools outside Canada.
People living with members of the Canadian Forces outside the country are not considered to be Canadian Forces electors, but may vote as Canadians residing outside Canada (see Backgrounder EC 90540, Voting by Special Ballot).
The Department of National Defence keeps a permanent register of Canadian Forces electors. When they enroll, each CF member completes a Statement of Ordinary Residence (SOR) that determines the electoral district for which his or her vote will be counted.
Manner of voting
Canadian Forces electors vote by special ballot. During a general election or referendum, instructions for voting are posted at the polling station in each unit and a deputy returning officer is on hand to issue voting materials. Each polling station has a complete list of candidates. During by-elections, Elections Canada sends a personalized voting kit to every elector whose address on the Statement of Ordinary Residence is located in a riding where a by-election is being held.
To vote, the elector must first complete and sign the declaration on the outer envelope that forms part of the voting kit. The declaration states that his or her name is as shown on the envelope and that he or she has not already voted in the election or referendum underway. The elector then completes the ballot by writing on it the name of one of the candidates in his or her riding – or, in the case of a referendum, by checking either “yes” or “no” – and then inserting the ballot in the series of envelopes in accordance with the instructions provided.
Finally, the elector is responsible for ensuring that Elections Canada in Ottawa receives the ballot no later than 6:00 p.m., Eastern Time, on polling day. Electors may mail their ballots themselves or, in most cases, during a general election or referendum, leave them with the deputy returning officer to forward by special arrangement. The ballot must be sent in the envelopes provided. A ballot received by any other means, including fax, will not be counted. The Act also prohibits counting ballots received after the deadline.
Counting the votes
The ballots of Canadian Forces electors are counted at the same time as those of Canadian residents absent from their ridings, electors residing outside Canada and incarcerated electors, provided they have been received at Elections Canada in Ottawa before 6:00 p.m., Eastern Time, on polling day. The procedure is described below.
Political Paradigm of Pragmatism from the Khmer Youth part 53
This part (53), Mr. Sophan Seng continued to describe the unalienable rights to vote of Cambodians overseas. Furthering to introduction of the CEROC part 52, Cambodians overseas have played important roles in nation-building of Cambodia following renaissance of political, social and economical changes.
1. Politics: as the matter of fact, Cambodian diaspora had actively engaged in national liberation during the foreign occupation between 1979-1990 along Thai-Cambodia border, and they were significantly helped to push for the establishment of Paris Peace Agreement (PPA).
2. Socially innovating: Cambodian diaspora has built hundred and thousand Buddhist temples to stock their culture and belief. Buddhist temples are central of identity, languages, spiritual needs, and volunteerism.
3. Economically contributing: Both Cambodian migrant workers and Cambodian diaporic members have annually contributed to economic growth and GDP not less than 500 millions dollar usd each year. But recent finding broadcasted by VOA Khmer indicated that just Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand alone has sent remittance back home not less than 1 billion usd each year.
The above significant engagement and contribution, including, the guarantee of Cambodia constitution as well as the Universal Declaration on Human Rights of the United Nations, Cambodians overseas and the overseas absentee voting choice for those people, must not be deprived.
Who is exempt from the five-year limit on voting by Canadians living abroad?
You are exempt from the five-year limit if you are:
employed outside Canada in the federal public administration or the public service of a province,
employed outside Canada by an international organization of which Canada is a member and to which Canada contributes, or
living with an elector employed as described above, or with a member of the Canadian Forces posted outside Canada, or with a person employed outside Canada by the Canadian Forces as a teacher or as administrative support staff in a Canadian Forces school
How can I prove I am exempt from the five-year limit?
If you are exempt from the five-year limit based on where you or someone you live with is employed (see list above), you must provide proof of employment for yourself or for that elector.
For example, provide a copy, photo or scan of a current:
Canadian diplomatic passport
employee identification card, or
document on the organization’s letterhead, showing the employee’s name and employment status, signed by an authorized official of the organization
I live abroad and I am voting by special ballot. What is my Canadian address for voting purposes?
If you are voting by mail-in special ballot, your Canadian address for voting purposes is the address in Canada where your vote will count. You will vote for a candidate in the riding that contains this address.