July 16, 2020

Elections Office statement on keeping the debate ‘clean’

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543907_398102760287661_1779292179_nIn an effort to keep the upcoming General Election ‘clean’, the Elections Office encourages candidates to approach election debates from a footing of good sportsmanship.

While healthy debate and dialogue on election issues are an important part of the democratic process, and a manifestation of the right to freedom of expression, officials remind candidates to refrain from using political broadcasts or any other means to engage in scandalous or defamatory statements against others.

The Elections Law also considers political broadcasts/announcements that are blasphemous, obscene, indecent, profane, or scandalous to be illegal. Candidates who engage in such practices are liable on summary conviction to a fine of five hundred dollars, or to imprisonment for six months for each illegal practice.

Failing to observe these rules may result in private legal action being taken against candidates by other private citizens, but may also result in the Elections Office exercising its own powers to investigate such matters under the Elections Law.

 

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