Election education to cost around $250k

| 11/05/2016 | 28 Comments
Cayman News Service

(L-R) Deputy Supervisor of Elections Sheena Glasgow, Supervisor of Elections Wesley Howell and Deputy Supervisor of Elections Suzanne Bothwell

(CNS): The first ever election in Cayman to be held under the system of ‘one man, one vote’ in single member constituencies is expected to cost around $1.5 million, considerably more than past elections due to the significant increase in personnel that will be required as well as the necessary public awareness campaign. Elections Supervisor Wesley Howell confirmed that around $250,000 will be spent on the public education drive to help voters understand how the ballot will work, and over $900,000 is needed for the 350 or more people who will be helping with the historic national poll.

Howell said that the increase was “understandable as we are significantly changing the way folks will vote”.

Previous elections have cost the government in excess of half a million dollars, but this year the budget, which is expected to be brought to the LA before the end of this month, has grown to accommodate 19 single member constituencies and to ensure that all entitled voters on the day know exactly where to go and what to do to exercise their democratic right.

Howell explained that there will be an army of people involved in both the voter registration and education campaigns ahead of the poll, as well as on the big day itself, which, if all goes to plan, is expected to take place on Wednesday, 24 May 2017. Hundreds of people will be involving in the logistics, from registering voters, which is already underway, to counting the votes.

The office has requested over $911,000 to cover personnel costs and almost $620,000 for everything else, such as advertising, education, ballot boxes and polling booths.

Howell said the office expects to spend around $250k on having people go door-to-door to raise awareness and answer questions, as well as training candidates and educating both candidates and voters on the new political landscape.

Officials intend to make sure that everyone who is entitled to vote in the historic election knows exactly where and how to do so long before the polling stations open, and to educate them on issues such as understanding their new constituencies and the change from multiple votes to just one.

Sheena Glasgow, one of the deputy supervisors of elections, explained that the office had put a proposal to Cabinet that there be a change to the ballots forms for the 2017 election to include party logos or indications of independence, and pictures of the candidates running in any given constituency to make it even more clear for voters.

The officials said they expected a lot of questions from registered voters over the new constituencies and the single vote.

Howell said the education of voters will be a partnership between the office and possible candidates. He said that the Elections Office has targeted September in the campaign schedule to try and encourage the candidates that are open about running to help get the message out as soon as possible.

“We know we are going to have significant questions around the candidate issues,” Howell said as he pointed to the former polling divisions, which are similar to the new single member constituencies, and the 2015 election results that may indicate where current members and would-be candidates are likely to run.

Some people have voted in election after election for certain veteran politicians, such as McKeeva Bush, Kurt Tibbetts and Anthony Eden, and may be disappointed that they can longer vote for specific favourites because they are not running in their new constituency.

But Howell said that popular politicians who have wide support across the historical districts will be well placed to help voters understand that while they can no longer vote for them directly, they can still support them more broadly.

Deputy Elections Supervisor Suzanne Bothell said that the Elections Office will begin answering electors’ questions when they begin the door-to-door registration campaign in the next few months, to ensure that everyone will be confident about their vote on Election Day.

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Comments (28)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    OK, so here’s the $250,000 “education” :

    YOU CAN VOTE FOR ONE PERSON ONLY

    PUT AN “X” IN THE BOX NEXT TO THE NAME OF THE PERSON YOU WANT TO VOTE FOR.

    (IF YOU PUT AN “X” IN THE BOX NEXT TO MORE THAN ONE PERSON, YOUR BALLOT PAPER WILL NOT COUNT.)

  2. Anonymous says:

    250G “to help voters understand how the ballot will work”?! What the heck – is this a joke? Anyone thick enough to need it “explaining” to them has no business casting a vote to begin with, they’d be too far gone, surely?

  3. Kinfusion says:

    Candidate pictures are a great idea. I had a choice of two McLeans in East End last election and almost chose the wrong one…….

  4. WaYaSay says:

    $1.5Million for one man one vote? Are you kidding me?
    Here is an idea………….spend 1/2 million on one man one vote to issue new voters registration cards, print new ballots,publish a few explanatory articles and pay the people who will run the election, then, assign the extra $1million to the education of our youth.
    Are the majority of the people who will run the election not already on Government’s payroll?

    There is NOTHING to explain about one man one vote except to tell the multi member constituents that if they vote for multiple candidates that will spoil their ballot. Maybe this will be a good thing if they do as anyone so dumb as to NOT understand one man one vote should probably not be allowed to vote anyway. You should not need to remind them that they can only vote in their electoral districts as they are used to that already.

    Here is a better idea, put voters from North Side and East End on TV for free to explain to those who do not get it, how they go about voting for their candidate in this election. That should save you the $1Million. How complicated can it be? They have been doing it all their life without spoiling ballots.

    I think I will take back my opening paragraph. Why the hell should it take $500,000.00 to prepare for an election in which 20,000 people will vote anyway? Did the cost of ballot paper and printing just go up, or is the cost of the pencils I will use to vote?

    The easiest way to reduce our public debt is to eliminate waste and fraud like this in Government.

  5. Diogenes says:

    Perhaps they should spend some of that money training the Election Supervisors who have said they don’t understand the law they are employed to supervise.

  6. Anonymous says:

    In all seriousness, and forgiving the seeming impertinence of asking, but what do all of these full time employees of the elections office do in the 4 year intervals between elections?

    • Anonymous says:

      They all do this job on top of their already full time positions in Government. Mr. Howell is a Deputy Chief Officer, Ms Bothwell in a Senior Crown Counsel, and I believe soon to be Courts Administrator, Ms Glasgow is the head of the Post Office…..

  7. Anonymous says:

    In the last election they produced fancy voter ID cards that you could use to vote . But you didn’t have to have one, you could use any Govt-issued ID, passport, driving licence etc. But you could get a voters card if you wanted, so basically the machine to produce the cards and the time and money spent on staffing was wasted.

  8. Jotnar says:

    This is the Christmas Clean up on steroids. $300 a head for staff to tell people there is an election, where to go to register and to vote, and how to fill in a voting form – all of which could be done in a brief commercial on TV and a full page ad in the paper.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t watch TV, don’t normally pick up the Reporter, and wouldn’t give Legge any of my money for a Compass. – See, if you want to make sure you really get through to people, you have to put some real money/effort in to it.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Why don’t you publish how to register to vote in this article, or at the very least a link?

  10. Anonymous says:

    We don’t need pictures or party logos, and we don’t need any special coddling to understand that everyone gets one vote only. It doesn’t get more simple than this. We also shouldn’t have to pay armies of people that should be volunteering as part of their civic duty. This should be cheaper and more automated than ever before. Any cave dwellers still have a year to come out of hibernation and figure this out. Anyone who is in jail or not of sound mind should be disqualified to vote, per the elections law. It should be a tamper-proof electronic ballot where the voter ID is confirmed for one district vote, and once cast, they exit the building. There shouldn’t be any physical ballots to loose or tamper with, nor any manual counting requirement. We shouldn’t be looking for new ways to make this harder or more expensive than previous days.

    • Anonymous says:

      1) Do you currently volunteer to work on election day?
      2) There is no such thing as ‘tamper proof’ electronic voting anywhere in the world. What they have is ‘black box’ electronic voting where you have no way to verify the votes. Cayman’s system is basic but it has the advantage of ‘competing vested interests’ keeping the tally-count-viewers on the ball ensuring that bad votes don’t slip through. That much at least is free.

      • Anonymous says:

        Min 2 person manual authentication of eligible voter, voter enters ID number from card, selects candidate, leaves building. Once voted, the ID is eliminated from the list of electors. No re-dos. Simple software that automatically tallies the votes. There are some 18k eligible voters and prob 60% voter turnout. Pretty easy to manage a tamper-proof election with the very limited number of voters. It should cost tens of thousands, not millions, and it could be done with iPads, with an auditable time-stamped “transaction history”.

  11. Anonymous says:

    IS this really necessary ………………… NO ……………. keeping spending it whats you do best when is the next increase in stamp duty

  12. Anonymous says:

    I’ll do it for less, and give you a teaser….’Put an X in the box by the persons name you want to vote for”….

  13. Anonymous says:

    A lot of wasted money.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I am sure you’ll be reporting on Batabano ’16 soon and if I may make a comment or two here it would be appreciated.
    First it seems completely disorganized. Anyone can dress as vulgar as possible and join the parade at any time. Does Ms Myrie see and approve the costumes of those participating? If so, she is to blame for the indecent way many appear. Not only their costumes but the way they act on the streets. We don’t need to emulate Trinidad or other Caribbean countries and try to outdo them in vulgarity. if you think the tourists love it their comments are not congratulatory. Our founding fathers would be shocked!

    Another thing ,if the women think that big asses are sexy and attractive they are wrong!
    They need to take a picture of their backsides to see what they look like. A moving picture would be the best to take. I have never seem so many BIG behinds in my life as there are now in Cayman –native and no-native. They are obscene! Please ladies join Weight Watchers or go on a diet for your own good. You are not healthy and it will get you in the hospital eventually if you don’t control it. Then not even the nurses will be able to turn you and the taxpayers will be saddled with your bills.

    • Anonymous says:

      Best. Comment. Eva!

    • Anonymous says:

      Absolutely best and most relevant comment on the election. Slim ass=more votes. Kardashians do not agree but only 60% of the population would vote for them. Trump is a huge ass but look at the support he has!! Turns out we may be in a minority!

    • .Big Booty says:

      Hi Anonympus.11:44,

      i thought the discussion was all about concern for the mega bucks projected to be spent by elections office for upcoming elections 2017!

      What does Batabanoo and big behinds have.to do with it.?

      May I remind you that women with big behinds have always been the envy of those women that have no behinds. You look more like a flat bottom glass bottom boat!

      A beautiful behind or beautiful A** is a gift from God for now adays it is the first thing that a man looks after when he sees a beautiful woman. You are insecure and afraid feeling threatened by women that .have curves in the right places. Ive witnessed (a big behind as you call it} stop traffick in the airport. Cause mens heads to turn while holding his beauty queen wifes handwalking accross the street. Ive seen a big behind stop the Cops from issuing a traffic ticket, and Ive seen a big behind keep men at home and .s.top running round.

      The big behind ain’t so bad after all! it serves its valuable purpose and its a pity that big behind women are more often women of color or mixed .breed. So Im sure that you the critic sidelining the election topic to big behind is a very jealous and envious individual that perhaps needs a loan or a sponsor to finance you flying overseas to get a booty lift…….. for this is the new trend nd its obviously killing you. When we were coming up women were picked on for having a big behind. You are a miserable selfish jealous young or middle aged woman or just an old fashioned prejudice.old- fogie whose husband if you did get one.spent .much of his time with you. looking atwomen with big behinds while escorting you out in public. Why didn’t you slap his face if it makes you so miserable and grow so bitter.?

      So what were we talking about again? Oh, the election budget! LOL!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Why don’t you just guarantee to give $25 to every eligible voter if they register and turn out to vote. You’ll save about $1 million, and pretty much ensure a full turn-out for a free $25. Take that million saved, and fund Meals on Wheels.

  16. Anonymous says:

    1.5 million dollars for about 18000 voters. That’s almost 100 dollars a head. Wow.

  17. Lale says:

    1.5M for utter BS.

    One man, one vote is our death; watch!

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