Jersey States plans to 'encourage' vote turnout

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Every home in Jersey will receive two booklets explaining April's referendum on States reform according to the group responsible.

The Privileges and Procedures Committee (PPC) decided on the strategy after concerns few would go to the polls.

The first booklet will explain how the vote will work and how a result will be found.

The second booklet will allow every campaign group to set out their argument for each option.

An electoral commission was set up in 2012 to look at States reform and come up with the best way of putting it to the public in the form of a referendum.

The three options

Option A would see 42 deputies elected from six large voting districts.

Option B would have 30 deputies elected from six districts and 12 parish constables.

Option C would see island-wide elections for eight senators, 29 deputies from a range of constituency sizes and 12 parish constables.

PPC Chairman, Constable Simon Crowcroft, said the commission had money left over from its £200,000 budget.

He said that money would be spent on creating the booklets.

"The more we can do to get a good turnout in the referendum the better, fears have been raised about a low turnout and the position that will put the States in when it comes to evaluating the outcome of the referendum.

"They will be very good for democracy in Jersey and will explain how the referendum is going to work.

"We feel the best thing to do is make sure every elector in the island gets good information presented in an unbiased way, they will set out their stall and have a set number of words to do it," he said.

An expert in Jersey politics, Adrian Lee, said he doubts the outcome of the referendum will make a difference.

He said the turnout was likely to be so low the States would be able to ignore it.

The referendum is due to be held on Wednesday 24 April and islanders have three options.

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