(CNS): Almost one thousand more voters have been added to the country’s electoral roll as the voter drive ahead of the May General Election continues and the clock ticks on the registration deadline. As Cayman gears up for the first ever national poll under a system of ‘one man, one vote’ in single member constituencies, the increase in numbers is largely in Bodden Town, the fastest growing district, where 5,360 people are now eligible to vote. The register was formally published on 1 January but there are still six days left for would-be voters to join the final pre-election list, which will be finalised in April.
With lest than a week for potential voters to add their names and make the roll for the national ballot on Wednesday 24 May, the Elections Office is urging people to stop procrastinating and sign up.
|Total Electors by District for JAN 1, 2017 Official Register of Electors – 19,449|
|District||North Side||East End||Cayman Brac & Little Cayman||Bodden Town||West Bay||George Town|
According to Supervisor of Elections Wesley Howell, registering to vote is a democratic right that people can exercise in the coming General Elections.
“I urge all who have put off registration to take advantage of the next few days and come into the office to register. We want to ensure that no one qualified to vote misses the registration deadline and loses the opportunity of voting in the May election. Remember, if you are not registered by the 16th, you cannot vote on May 24th,” he warned.
The Elections Office will be open for registration this Saturday to encourage as many people as possible who want to vote to make the final list. The final deadline for registration to be able to vote in the elections is midnight on Monday, 16 January 2017.
Enumerators have been going door to door in all the districts since the voter registration campaign began in earnest last September and officials expect that the voter list will grow further, as there are still several thousand people who are eligible to vote that have not registered and who appear to be leaving it until the last minute.
At the 2017 elections, for the first time ever all voters in the Cayman Islands, regardless of where they live, will have only one vote. Following the deadline next Monday night to make the list in time for the national ballot, the Elections Office will be turning its attention to ensuring the voting public understands the new constituencies and exactly where they will vote and pressing home the message that they will have only one vote. Voters will be picking their choice of candidate from those who choose to run in each of the new 19 single-member constituencies.
So far, the only formal declarations from any candidates about exactly which constituency they will stand have been made by Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush, who will be running in his home constituency of West Bay West on his Cayman Democratic Party ticket, and Kenneth Bryan, the premier’s former political assistant, who was the first candidate out of the gate when he declared last year that he intended to run in George Town Central as an independent candidate.
Although the premier has made it clear he also wants to run in the capital’s central constituency, the PPM has a party constitution which will required Alden McLaughlin to be confirmed in the seat by George Town branch officials.
While several other candidates have already thrown their hats in the ring by making announcements on social media or radio phone-in shows, few of them have confirmed their exact constituency choices. With just one vote per elector, creating a head-to-head fight for candidates in a ‘first past the post’ race, who will stand against who in each of the 19 seats could make a significant difference. And it appears many would-be politicians are not keen to declare their hand too early.
To download a registration form or for more details including your area’s registering officers and where you will vote on Election Day, visit www.elections.ky. The office will also open at 9am until 4pm on Saturday. The Elections Office is on the second floor of Smith Road Centre, 150 Smith Road, George Town.