Last call for October electoral roll

| 30/06/2020 | 14 Comments
Cayman News Service

(CNS): The Elections Office is reminding would-be voters that Wednesday is the last opportunity for people to register to join the electoral roll that will be published in October. The office has also released the calendar of events that will lead up to the General Election on Wednesday 26 May, which is 329 days away. Anyone who wants to vote in 2021 must register with the elections office before 4 January.

The need to verify new voters and go through a consultation process creates a lag in the system here than can see people wait as much as six months before they appear as qualified voters on the roll. Anyone who registers on 2 July, for example, will not appear on the register until December.

Given the time lag, people who are eligible to vote are urged to register as soon as possible to secure that right in the national ballot next year.

As of 1 April, there were 28,000 voters on the register but there are believed to be several more thousand people entitled to vote that have opted not to register. While some point to the paperwork as a barrier to registration, being caught up in the jury pool is another.

But this year activists are urging as many people to register and to go out and vote in order to revolutionize the political status quo and remove the old guard. While campaigning has already begun for some likely candidates for 2021, who is going to run where is very unlikely to emerge in full until Nomination Day on 31 March, as candidates jostle for the competitive edge under the system of single-member constituencies.

This is only the second time that Cayman will be voting under the system of one man, one vote in 19 seats, and candidates have likely learned lessons from the outcome of 2017. It is possible that more politicians and would-be candidates will be campaigning and running on combined platforms, even if they do not run under official party banners.

The results of the last election demonstrated that independent candidates will struggle to take power even when in the majority. Promises made on the campaign trail by lone candidates are even less likely to be fulfilled than those made by parties or teams, as backroom deals and horse trading leads elected officials to seek a path to power over their campaign platform.

The deal that created the current Government of National Unity between former sworn political rivals, PPM leader Alden McLaughlin, CDP leader McKeeva Bush and three previously independent candidates, has never been revealed. But the outcome was a lesson for both would-be MLAs and voters about inconclusive results and the weakness of independent candidates.

For more information about registering to vote visit Cayman Islands Elections Office or call 949 8047.

The office is now open to the public at 68 West Bay Road, Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm. However the office will be open until 5:30pm on Wednesday to help last minute registrations.


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Category: 2021 General Elections, Elections, Politics

Comments (14)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Ummm, based on their website the criteria they use to confirm that someone is Caymanian and eligible to register to vote is different from the legal definition as to who is or is not Caymanian. The result is that persons who are not qualified are able to register to vote. Anyone see a problem with that?

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    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      Would you share with us specifically which you read that led you to your conclusion?

      I read the criteria for both Status Holders and born Caymanians, and didn’t see a problem.

      Thanks!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Being born in Cayman, even to. Caymanian parent, has not automatically meant you are Caymanian since 1973.

        Other considerations apply, including whether a parent was a British Subject, settled in the Islands, and in some cases, whether or not they were married. A Caymanian born overseas is just as Caymanian as a Caymanian born in Cayman. The immigration department requires a lot of evidence and detail before it will confirm that someone is a Caymanian, whether they were born in Cayman or not. Should the requirements not be the same?

        In addition, all Caymanians have status, so the difference set out on the website is inappropriate and divisive. In addition, many Caymanians automatically lose their status on their 18th birthday and have to apply for (and be granted) continuation before they are Caymanian again. Continuation is not automatic and a number of people do not qualify – yet the elections office website appears to take no note of that fact.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Caymanians do not have status my dear- we are caymanian. Writing on a form you have Caymanian status is very different from saying you are caymanian. The latter implies you were born here. In other words born caymanians are not granted status they are caymanian.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Sir/Madam, you are simply mistaken. The law is clear. Status is what makes all Caymanians Caymanian, whether such status be conferred automatically at birth (by right) by entitlement or by grant.

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          • Anonymous says:

            10:22 That’s not how it WORKS.

        • Anonymous says:

          The Elections office requests Status Continuation letters from many people. You have a chance to challenge any voter’s registration in court every 3 months. Do so instead of critisizing hard working volunteers.

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          • Anonymous says:

            How about the hard working volunteers simply require the same evidence the immigration department requires employers to hold before treating a person as Caymanian?

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          • Anonymous says:

            Does the elections office really request continuation letters from people who were born in Cayman? The law says being born inside or outside Cayman is irrelevant so why are some beople being asked and not others? How consistent are these requests?

            How does a 17 year old registering to vote for the first time (because they will be 18 before the election) even get a continuation letter before they turn 18.

            How does a potential objector get to check the detailed immigration records required to know if a registered person is actually Caymanian or not?

            How about simply applying the requirements of the immigration law to determine whether a person is Caymanian before registering them to vote?

            Do we just say “Ooopsie-Daisy” when we realize an election was wrongly won or lost because ineligible persons were allowed to register and vote? Hell, it’s only democracy. That stuff is not all that important, is it?

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  2. Anonymous says:

    This is such a tricky question, on whether to register or not. As a 27 year old Caymanian I feel some responsibility to register to vote, but this one-man-one-vote system is broken, and don’t forget about jury duty.

    In the unlikely event that there is a candidate that I believe in and would vote for, I have a 1 in 19 chance this person will be in my district.

    I’ll pass thanks.

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    • Anonymous says:

      No man register! We need you! No weed, No Vote!

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    • Anonymous says:

      This isn’t the jury duty list. That myth has been disproven for several election cycles. If avoiding civic duties is your reason for failing to register, then you don’t get to whine about anything, least of all the next government. There are thousands of others that are trying to qualify for the privilege you dismiss as a hassle! Lazy.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Seems like you are overthinking this “tricky” issue. Once you register you aren’t forced to vote. If you don’t care who your district elects, sta home.

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