Premier’s claims refuted by statistics

| 30/07/2019 | 61 Comments
Cayman News Service
Michelle Lockwood hands the petition to Elections Supervisor Wesley Howell

(CNS): The Elections Office has given a detailed breakdown of all of the statistics regarding the petition for a referendum on the cruise port, which its team is currently verifying. In a press release responding to queries over Premier Alden McLaughlin’s misleading comments about the petition, the office confirmed that the Cruise Port Referendum volunteers had made clear when they handed in the petition, with well over 6,000 names, that some were duplicates and others could not be found on the voter register.

The office also confirmed that by Tuesday morning, 3,705 petition names had been confirmed, which is 70% of the number needed to trigger the referendum.

From the beginning of the process the Elections Office has been aware of the actual numbers that the petitioners claimed to be genuine names. The office knew that the campaigners had not, in contrast to the premier’s comments, tried to mislead the office by submitting signatures that were not those of voters or were duplicates.

Elections Supervisor Wesley Howell is managing the process, which is being widely commended, despite the onerous requirement by government that every single signature must be confirmed. He said the CPR had already done much of the work to ensure that the names submitted were genuine.

“With each of the submissions, the CPR performed its own assessment on its petition signatures to help in ensuring validity of the process; and the CPR team worked to eliminate the names of non-voters, in keeping with section 70 of the Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009,” he said. “I would like to thank the CPR team for their continued support in helping to expedite the verification process.”

The petitioners have, to date, submitted in good faith 5,637 signatures in support of a people-initiated referendum on government’s proposal to build cruise berthing facilities in George Town. And from the remaining 1,932 signatures, the Elections Office confirmed Tuesday that it now needs to verify another 1,587 to meet the constitutional requirement of 25% of the electorate.

The office has also confirmed that 76 petitioners have declined to sign the official verification forms. Whether this is because they have changed their mind or do not wish to make such a visible commitment or any other reason is not known.

But given that those who have signed are being given the opportunity to change their minds, the Elections Office is continuing to accept petition signatures submitted by the CPR group. As the volunteers check the new names, the Elections Office said it had received verification forms in advance, where new signers have asked for their signatures to be verified at the Elections Office or at local supermarket verification booths.

As additional names are submitted, the CPR group has also continued to report to the Elections Office any signatures on petition sheets and books that should be excluded from the process. These excluded signatures are not being included in either the submission totals or in the Elections Office’s own verified totals.

To ensure the public understands, the office explained the statistics relating to the two main submissions.

On 12 June the CPR submitted a collection of petition books that included 6,053 signatures. But they stated clearly that 241 of those signatures were multiple submissions where people had signed twice. They also stated clearly that there were 374 signatures that did not correspond with the current electoral register, leaving the official submission of 5,438 names in good faith.

Then a month later, on 11 July, they handed over another 229 signatures, and again they made clear to the Elections Office that there were 16 signatures that were repeats and 14 that did not appear to be registered voters, leaving another 199 genuine and qualified signatures.

As the Elections Office works through the task of checking all of the names, it will continue to provide weekly progress reports to Governor Martyn Roper, who is overseeing this process, according to the release.

It is understood that this summary of facts is then being shared by the governor with Cabinet. This explains why the premier was in possession of numbers at Monday’s press briefing that he used to try and undermine the validity of the petition. This raised concerns among CPR campaigners that McLaughlin’s comments had implied that, despite the claims to the contrary, there could be some political interference in the process.

For more information on the verification process and details on how people can verify their signature visit the Elections Office website.

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Category: Politics

Comments (61)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Here’s something to think about: What if the people now force enactment of the Standards in Public Life Law, and upon review, 80% of Cabinet are criminally indicted by the Anti Corruption Commissioner’s Office? Who is left to run for office, and what political party remains?!?

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  2. SSM345 says:

    In the words of the 5-Star General Rodney Price:

    Bullet, Bullet!

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Fantastic reporting on this, CNS. Brilliant community organising work on this from the CPR volunteers. McLaughlin’s administration is going to lose the inevitable referendum and fall on this issue. An all-too-rare example of things working as they should.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    How is anyone surprised?!? The Cabinet refuse to comply with the Constitutional requirement to enact Standards in Public Life Law. They won’t even put it on the LA order of business. The only two reasons left for hesitation with this much revised law are either (A) corruption at highest levels OR (B) direct egregious conflicts of interest between their actions, and/or themselves/appointed board members or immediate family members. There are people that would otherwise be in jail running our LA, and the sooner we wake up and realize that fact and instruct action towards good governance, the better!

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  5. LOL says:

    LOL it looks like the ppm trolls or kirkbots are out defend Misleading McLaughlin and win the 👍🏻or 👎🏻 battle on CNS

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  6. Just Sayin says:

    Alden is done, finished, an absolute waste – case closed.
    History will record him as the person who had the smarts but lacked the balls and the integrity to ensure that Cayman prospered from what those before him had created but not be raped by the greedy individuals that care only about their personal gain and not about Cayman.
    He has happily allowed himself to be totally pros____ted by McKeeva and Moses, all for the fulfillment of his ego and being able to parade as the Premier. His grandfather would be ashamed of him.
    He will not ever be elected to office again.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    So they admit to handing in a petition with 600 plus ineligible signatures? Spin it however you want but neither side is right or wrong in this instance.

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    • Anonymous says:

      CPR handed in the petition with non- voters signatures to show that even visitors were appalled at the misleading fake news that were being churned out and wanted to say their say as well. They were not trying to hide anything because they made full disclosures to the election office. I only wish more Caymanians would be as concerned.

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      • Jah Dread says:

        @9:37 now you and the 32 robots know that your statement na true, why in the ricesroni would you want to mix up non residents signatures with registered voters signatures, presenting them is a pile of stupidity as they have no effect. How daft can you be. Or is it you were playing a likle ruse e ehi.

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    • Anonymous says:

      ^ dumb, asshole, stupid comment.

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      • Anonymous says:

        9.48am Call it whatever else you want but don’t forget that it is also the truth.In fact CNS states that CPR admitted turning in those 600 plus signatures but the Premier also stated that CPR had pointed it out to the elections office . Just watch the whole press conference and the Cayman 27 6pm news on the same day, 29th July.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Alden McTrump!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t be asinine, 9:54! Trump gets things done!!! Alden doesn’t! Don’t you keep up with the news?

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      • Anonymous says:

        What has Trump accomplished other than completely filling the swamp with the worst humans in the US government at the moment? Oh, you must be talking about the civilians killed by the airstrikes in Afghanistan? Air strikes, mostly carried out by American warplanes, killed 363 people, including 89 children, in the first six months of the year. Or are you talking about completely botching the Iran deal and the Paris climate deal?

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Alden just needs to shut the hell up and let things unfold as they will. If the vote is yes or if the vote is no it should be the unaltered will of the people not the will of Alden, Mac or Moses.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Not sure who does your maths, 4200 signatures would equal 70% but whatevs right??

    CNS: The person who does our maths (actually the Elections Office) is better than whoever does your maths. It says “70% of the number needed to trigger the referendum”. 3,705 signatures have been verified, which is 70% of 5,292, the target to be verified.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Alden? Now what would your parents say, young man?

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  12. Anonymous says:

    I cringe when the Premier is present but worse when he tries to speak about matters such this which he clearly does not know much about, he is just repeating what he has been told! If that press conference didn’t confirm his arrogance, I don’t know what else we need to see who he clearly is! He was rude to CNS reporter when asked a difficult questions, which shows his weakness as a so called ‘leader’! #2021sooncome #goretireinthebush

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    • Anonymous says:

      Hi CNS
      I’m a registered voter but I didn’t sign the first petition (not sure why as I’ve always been against the dock being built) can I sign it now? If so, where can this be done?

      CNS: You could email cprcayman@gmail.com or message them via Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/cprcayman/ If we learn there is a physical location, we’ll make this public.

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      • Jonathan Ebanks says:

        4 Winds Esso,Hell Esso,Savannah Rubis….Also follow CPR Cayman’s Facebook page….We can also come to you as well….Or just call me at 322-4372

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    • Anonymous says:

      I watched the press conference and it was clear to me that the premier displayed total arrogance. Starting with ‘look at me and all the good things I have done’. The look on his face as CNS asked the questions made it obvious he disliked CNS. He claims to respect the constitution and stated people will overwhelmingly support the port project, so what is it he is afraid of? If what he says is true, democracy will have won. I personally do not know which way to go. I am for improvements to the cargo port, I think it is far from satisfactory, but I cringe at the thought of $200M given the fiasco of the schools project. The cruise ship industry is ‘fashionable’ right now, but a lot can happen in 25 years.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Here’s for Wesley Howell, future OBE for all his efforts!

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  14. UnCivil Servant says:

    Thank you Wes Howells and Elections Office

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  15. Ambassador of Absurdistan says:

    Really amazing stuff watching him publicly unravel.

    Just Another Day in Absurdistan

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    • Anonymous says:

      I hope the Governor is paying close attention to the shenanigans of the premier and deputy premier . Mr Roper hopefully you will not rely on those two anymore for the truth.

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  16. SMH says:

    What a clown Alden is proving himself to be. SMH

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Governor Roper is updating the Premier every week on the numbers. How will he control political interference from like the Premier?

    The Premier then deliberately attempted to mislead the public with his comments in the press conference that are not factual but political?

    I smell a rat!

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Misleading McLaughlin strikes again!

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    • Anonymous says:

      75% who did not sign the petition is not a misleading majority.

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      • Anonymous says:

        You’re right, they’re not. They are a mix of sheep, Dartbots, aldenbutt lickers, people who genuinely want the port and those who could care less either way. What are you @7:09 because @6:39 said nothing about a misleading majority just a misleading politrickian. You sound like a sheep.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Insulting those who don’t see things your way 9.44 does not change the 75% majority .

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          • Anonymous says:

            I wasn’t insulting the entire 75%, Re-read my post sloooooowly. Maybe you’ll understand it better. I just broke the majority up into 5 segments and only insulted 3 of them for what they at least the other 2 are genuine in their own opinions. Yep, you are definitely a sheep.

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        • BeaumontZodecloun says:

          I am pro-referendum, currently against the cruise port project, however I do think we need to upgrade our shipping port.

          Your smarmy list of pejoratives does nothing to help the situation, don’t you see that? All you accomplish is creating an artificial divide between the people and the government. People disagree with you and all you can do is stoop to trying to affix negative labels.

          Words like yours also disenfranchise those moderates who are undecided; your narrative is the antithesis of citizen resolve and solidarity — it is divisive and tears us further apart.

          One way or another, ALL of us have to choose the future we desire, and that requires that the voters work with the government we have, until it is changed, if it is changed. We have to work with each other also, and learn to disagree with a bit of class, instead of insults.

      • Anonymous says:

        Is this how desperate the government and port supporters have become
        As the reality dawns on you that this project will never see the light of day?
        It’s laughable that this has become your argument, but that isn’t how this works sorry to burst your bubble

        You don’t get to count signatures by omission as automatic support

        Not to mention the governments own public consultation was 3-1 against the project
        If the people of the Cayman Islands wanted a port they would have elected a PPM majority government in 2017
        They did not
        The Premier is full of it
        and anyone claiming to have a mandate for this project needs to get their heads examined

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      • Anonymous says:

        All you need is 25%

      • Anonymous says:

        75% doesnt care. They have no opinion.
        25 % has an opinion and that can go both ways.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Wrong. I care. I just don’t sign petition because I happen to know FOR A FACT that business people have been victimized in the past for signing a petition against a government project. I hope they get the 25% verified because if they do, I will definitely care enough to vote against the dock.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    Maybe it would be best if the Premier didn’t speak for a little while or learns to get his facts straight

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  20. Anonymous says:

    BOOM Alden with the “Fake News” again

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    • Anonymous says:

      I am surprise that some of you were surprised. Fake news has always been his trademark! I know that Mr. Howell is an honorable person. It is mind boggling the amount of fake news the civil servants are sometimes forced to put out there for these ministers and officials but thankfully there are many who will always stand up and refuse to sully their integrity. “Honesty is still the best policy”.

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