Voter drive begins as clock ticks

| 09/05/2016 | 20 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): The Elections Office has begun a voter driver to attract as many people as possible from the 5,000 Caymanians who are entitled to vote but not yet registered to sign up before it’s too late. If government was to call an early November election, the register is already closed for new voters because of the time it takes to get on the register. But the Elections Office has now started work, focused on an anticipated May general election, and is stressing the need for anyone who wants to vote in that election to sign up well before the January deadline and for existing voters to ensure their residency details are accurate as it will impact their new polling constituencies.

Elections Supervisor Wesley Howell explained at a press conference Friday that preparation work has begun on the next election, which will be the first in Cayman’s history under the ‘one man, one vote’, single member constituency system.

The new register of electors is expected to be published shortly and Howell said he believed after the recent clean-up exercise and with new voters added, the list will go from around 18,200 voters to around 18,500, but that means there are still over 5,000 people entitled to vote in May 2017 that are not on the register.

The campaign to encourage new voters to register and existing voters to update their details will run alongside a public awareness campaign about the new voting process. Howell said special emphasis will be placed on getting young voters registered by reaching out to that demographic through social media and at the University College of the Cayman Islands later this week.

Although still 12 months away if the government is not forced to call early elections, there is a lot of work for the Elections Office to do and officials are eagerly awaiting the election law reform to make the legislation compliant with the Constitution. That revised law is expected to be with Cabinet by the end of this month.

The Elections Office has revamped its website to make it more reader-friendly, officials said, along with the maps depicting the new 19 single member electoral districts, or constituencies, and a searchable database so voters can see which constituency they will now vote in.

“We have a comprehensive programme of work ahead of us, and we are determined to deliver free, fair and transparent elections called for under the Constitution and the Elections Law. Our new branding is an indication our commitment to building on the excellent foundation of elections officials over the years and continuing the work of modernising elections in the Cayman Islands,” Howell said.

At present there are still just six registering officers, who will deal with the voters in all of the new relevant constituencies falling within the electoral district but the office plans to appoint assistants to help them deal with the workload, not just registering new voters but verifying existing registered electors.

Howell said the office did not see a need to appoint a registering officer for each of the 19 SMCs. Staff are, however, expected to be going door to door soon on the registration and education drive, which they also hope will be supported by those people who plan to stand in the coming election.

See related Ask Auntie questions on CNS Local Life:

Registering new address with Elections Office

Wants to be removed from register of electors

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Category: Elections, Politics

Comments (20)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Who is vetting the applications that I hear is being brought to the elections office by supposedly soon to be candidates or their supporters???.

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    • Anonymous says:

      There should be background checks, unless you're governor Taylor handing out honors to your friends.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    All Caymanian citizens should realize that it is their civic responsibility and duty to be registered, vote, and serve as jurors when called, for the benefit of themselves and the country,

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    • Anonymous says:

      The right to vote and a mandate to vote are two very different things. Why do you feel you have to lecture on 'civic responsibily' when due to the very definition of democracy and freedom it remains a choice. I will not vote for the sake of it, I will vote when I see a candidate who I believe will put the people first rather than their politcal cronies.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    i hear they plan to spend $1 Million for registration and voter education- translates to $4,000 for each and every Caymanian. Education is expensive these days, wonder how many hours one needs to understand how to vote :).

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Voting is like choosing which gun you want to get shot with

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Nobody wants to be on the list for jury duty is the bottom line. It's a huge pain in the ass to be honest.

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    • Anonymous says:

      This is a popular myth. Many have been on the voter list for decades and never asked to serve, whereas some of the past serving jurors get picked over and over and over again from some separate court list they're on - and some of them are not even registered voters. It doesn't seem to be as fair and random as it ought to be. Someone should do an FOI on how those names get put on the jury list (and how to get them off).

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    • Anonymous says:

      Residents can be called for jury duty without being on the voters list. Just go ask the courts. So you have get the huge pain in the ass without the benefit of choosing your representation. So you get double shafted. Enjoy.

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      • Drift wood status holder. says:

        I believe you are mistaken.

        https://www.judicial.ky/guidance/being-a-juror

        "The Court Bailiff selects the jury list from the latest register of voters. The Clerk of Courts selects the panel of jurors from the jury list. A new panel is selected for each session of the courts, and it excludes anyone who has served on any of the last six panels. This is a random procedure designed to ensure impartiality and an even distribution of the duties to as many citizens as possible. Your jury service will last for a session of the Grand Court, which is normally two months."

        This island is too small to be on the jury, people can find out where you live in about 4 seconds. I also don't really feel like voting for homophobic, racist, corrupt so called politicians anyway.

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  6. Jotnar says:

    5,000 Caymanians who can't be bothered to vote. 21,000 work permit holders who pay taxes, have no say in how the money is spent, and cannot receive the benefit of a lot of the expenditure but are not allowed to vote. Sounds fair.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Be grateful you are allowed to work here

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    • Anonymous says:

      21,000 work permit holders who know the rules and still, purely through their own free will, have made the personal choice to come here. If its that unfair feel free to exercise the same choice to leave back to where you can vote. Your an immigrant in another country. Deal with it or leave.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You want salary tax?

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  7. Anonymous says:

    I will register and vote for the politician that paves my driveway, until then my vote is worthless

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  8. Anonymous says:

    When there is someone worth voting for, I'll register. Being on the list for jury duty doesn't help either

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    • Anonymous says:

      I've been on the voters list for almost 30 years and never served on a jury. For some strange reason, the same people get it over and over again.

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  9. Wota says:

    Already ruled out one candidate in GT Central, next....

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