Petition verification begins in NS and EE

| 01/07/2019 | 9 Comments
Cayman News Service

(CNS): The Elections Office said Friday that it had begun the door-to-door verification of the signatures on the Cruise Port Referendum petition in the districts of North Side and East End. While its decision to verify every single one of the 5,300 names on the document submitted last month has sparked an increasingly polarizing debate, the Elections Office said that staff will also have change of detail forms for registered voters.

Concerns about this process have been mounting since it became clear that Elections Supervisor Wesley Howell had been asked to verify all of the names on the petition by Cabinet rather than work on the basis of random sampling.

Campaigners behind the referendum are worried that the process could be prolonged since many people have moved from their address on the electoral roll and so finding them could take a great deal of time.

There is also concern that many voters who signed will be away for the summer, and some who signed and are currently overseas have said that calls and emails to the office about how they can verify their names have gone unanswered. CNS has asked the Elections Office several times about how they are dealing with this but the only response so far is to say that sometime this week they will be issuing a press release “on that and other questions we have received”.

The activists who began collecting signatures in August are also concerned that people who signed could be intimidated into disavowing their names once a government official comes calling. They say that from the get-go, many government workers or people dependent on government for business were reluctant to sign even though they wanted to.

In light of the Elections Office’s decision to effectively re-do the petition, which could result in legitimate signatures remaining unverified, either because they cannot find the people who signed or because they are too intimidated reaffirm their support for the petition, the campaigners are continuing to collect signatures to ensure that they will still have the signatures of 25% of the electorate need to trigger the referendum.

But even the number of names needed is now in question as the elections supervisor has confirmed that the 25% trigger will be based on the new electoral roll expected to be published tomorrow, while the petition was submitted based on an electoral register of 21,155 voters published on 1 April. This was why campaigners made the decision to hand in the document once they had themselves checked and verified 5,300 names against the existing register.

As the verification process gets underway, there is a sense of urgency as government is continuing to pursue the cruise port project and the tourism minister has indicated that a winning bidder will be selected over the next week or so. Campaigners are therefore asking those who have signed the petition to self-verify by going to the Elections Office on Smith Road, George Town.

Elections Office staff are currently making their way through East End and North Side, and will move on to Bodden Town next Friday, 5 July. Officials said that they will keep the public informed as the process moves to other districts.

The deadline to register for the next publication of the Official Register of Electors is 8pm on Tuesday, 2 July. Anyone with questions should contact the Elections Office at 949-8047.

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Category: Politics

Comments (9)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Please don’t wait for, or count on, someone to knock on your door, or in the hours when you might be home, or count on repeat attempts to verify. Take it upon yourselves to go down to their office, fill out form and take a picture receipt of it for your own records.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly. This is THE most important issue facing us all today; the ramifications of what happens next will affect our children and theirs. We MUST get this right, and the will of the voting people must decide.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The verification process is needed. Many people I have talked to, just like me were pressured into signing. This gives us the opportunity to say yes or no without duress.

    • Anonymous says:

      The only question can be – did you sign or not? Anything else is not relevant to a fair and impartial verification process.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cool story. So they browbeat you into signing? Maybe twisted your lil’ pinky until you screamed? Maybe stamped on your toes? Bullshit post. Nobody that signed was pressured. You are a troll.

    • Anonymous says:

      Seriously, if you had any sense you would know what you are saying is foolishness and just an attempt to persuade other people to say they didn’t want to sign it.. You are doing exactly what you accused them of doing…but doing it anonymously..which is worse?

    • What the? says:

      You were pressured??? How exactly???

  3. anon says:

    More record overtime charges – a Civil Service speciality.

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