Cops investigating handful of election complaints

| 16/05/2017 | 9 Comments

(CNS Elections): The Elections Office has confirmed that it has received only around half a dozen complaints of election skullduggery. The cases have been passed on to the RCIPS, which is now investigating the allegations, mostly about excessive ‘treating’, possible pushing over into vote-buying. But election officials and the police are not overly concerned that the crude attempts at bribery will undermine the democratic process. And so far there are no signs that the Russians have hacked anyone’s emails.

While all 61 candidates may be relieved that the leadership in Moscow does not appear to have any favourites in Cayman’s election, there are concerns that some of them are going a bit too far with the treating. But the Elections Office has pointed out that it is hard to investigate the allegations after meetings “when the evidence has been eaten”.

Elections Supervisor Wesley Howell is urging the public to report potential election infractions to the office or the police as soon as possible so that they can can secure the evidence when there are genuine questions about how far candidates are going at meetings to essentially bribe voters with lavish spreads and even booze at some events.

But it is clear that the temptation of excessive giveaways doesn’t mean that candidates succeed in their thinly veiled bribery. Several well-funded meetings have attracted disappointing numbers for some and no would-be politician can be sure that a free hearty meal before election day will have the slightest impact on voters in the privacy of the election booth.

While rumours have always persisted around election time that candidates attempt to bribe voters with everything from piles of marl to new refrigerators, no one has ever been prosecuted. And despite warnings from election officials about excessive treating, as Election Day gets closer, the traditional basic “refreshments” at political meetings are getting increasingly lavish and plentiful.

They are notoriously difficult to prosecute, however, and the Elections Office stressed that unless people report what they see and experience it is hard for the police to get to the bottom of any allegations of bribery and corruption surrounding elections.

The police are also investigating some acts of vandalism on political signs and billboards. But the RCIPS said that as of last week, only five cases had been reported and there were no concerns that it may become prevalent during this election season.

See the Ask Auntie question on this topic: Concerned about vote buying ahead of election

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Category: Election News

Comments (9)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Apparently the CDP candidate for GTN had an “event” at the Agua restuarant with expensive coconut shrip, etc. Excessive? Treating? I think so.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I hear money is flowing in West Bay…also a certain doctor is spending hundreds of thousands.

    Thankfully the people of West Bay has had enough of credit card fiascos and broken promises.

    I suspect the good doctor will in tears on the 25th.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully the RCIPS checked out the GTS event which was recently held at Grand Old House by the CDP candidate. Some GTS voters got hand delivered written invitations. I would say such an event is excessive.

    • Anonymous says:

      He doesn’t have a chance anyway. Everyone in GTS is behind Mr Hurlston.

      • Anonymous says:

        Nope! Not Hurlston or the CDP member.

        I live in the ‘good’ part of GTS and did not get a personal invitation. It certainly was not an open invitation to all voters. Based on that alone, my household will not vote for CDP. The other reason is the no show to the Chamber debate for both party members showed arrogance. Neither will get a vote.

    • Anonymous says:

      As a prominent GTS voter I certainly wasn’t invited. Will not be voting CDP.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Dear Wesley Howell,

    What is the dollar value of 600 bags of groceries and whole frozen turkeys:

    “With close to 600 guests in attendance, it was a packed house at the annual Senior Citizens Social hosted by the West Bay Community Council and district MLAs McKeeva Bush, Capt. Eugene Ebanks and Bernie Bush.

    Held on Saturday, Dec. 19 at the Sir John A. Cumber Primary School, the event’s highlight was a festive meal catered by Foster’s Food Fair and served by West Bay Community Council members and volunteers.

    Prayers were offered by Pastor John Jefferson Sr. and Pastor Neriah LeBlanc, and the program included a Christmas carol sing-along with piano by Rev. Brenda Wallick.

    The hosts took the opportunity to recognize some special members of the community who were at the event, with prizes given out to the oldest female at the event, Hulda Ebanks and oldest male, Orrie Ebanks.

    Prizes were also awarded to the longest-married couples, Dell and Araunnah Powery and Edith and Evert Ebanks. Both couples have been married for more than 60 years.

    On the way out, each senior citizen received a bag of groceries and a turkey.”

    • Anonymous says:

      This has been an event that has gone on in the West Bay community for many, many years. Not just on election year as you’re trying to imply. Also, I know that most of the goods that are packed into those bags are actually donated by members of the public. I also know that there are so many needy families within West Bay that are very appreciative to be able to provide a Christmas dinner to their family thanks to these donated grocery bags.

      Is doing a good deed by our politicians now considered bribery? Especially since it’s done annually? I look at it as they are looking out for their community members.

      I think before you try to belittle anyone/party you should consider the facts.

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