Register cut-off is HR issue

| 17/05/2012

electoral-roll-pic (234x300).jpg(CNS): No new voters can be added to the electoral roll before the referendum because the update period is quarterly, but campaigners for one man, one vote have suggested that this could become a human rights issue as the cut-off occurred before the referendum law was passed. The law was officially gazetted yesterday, 16 May, which means that existing voters who will not be in the Cayman Islands on 18 July when the national poll will take place can now apply for an absentee ballot. However, anyone who had not registered with the Elections Office before the end of April cannot vote in the referendum.

Although this is as a result of the existing law and not a government policy, the OMOV campaigners have said that government could make an amendment to the election law in order to facilitate new voters. The register closes each quarter to give the public time to review or object to new names on the list over issues of entitlement and if they so wish raise objections. The register is also checked by a magistrate to ensure all the people on the roll have the lawful right to vote.

The recent revelations that government has, in accordance with the new constitution, dropped the need for those with Caymanian Status to also be naturalized before being eligible to vote could also have seen the register boosted before the referendum, but because the list closed at the end of April it is unlikely many new voters would have had the chance to beat the cut-off date.

Johann Moxam, one of the grass roots campaigners, said that the people should pressure their MLAs to make the change to the law, which will give those who want to vote and are entitled to vote the right to do so. “The law can be changed, and given the importance of this vote, we want the public to put pressure on their representatives to ensure that everyone has the right to take part in the democratic process,” he said.

Sharon Roulstone said that during the campaign to collect signatures for the one man, one vote petition the volunteers managed to get a number of new voters to register and left forms with many more. But she said she was concerned that not everyone had made the deadline. 

“People who had never even had any interest in politics before expressed a desire to become registered as a result of this campaign,” she said, adding that they were now being disenfranchised because of the early cut-off point.

She said that this was another hurdle to add to those placed by government in its efforts to ensure the failure of its own referendum. This also places the ‘yes’ campaign at a further disadvantage than if the people-initiated referendum had been allowed to progress as that ballot was planned for November, which would have given those entitled but not registered the time to get on the electoral roll.

With the implementation of the Bill of Rights this November, campaigners for OMOV say the cut-off raises a question of human rights, especially as the premier announced the date of the referendum literally days before the legal cut off point for the quarterly update of the register. The OMOV movement believes that there is time for the government to make an amendment to the law and open the register for another month, allowing people to partake in what will be an historic national referendum.

The premier has denied that his announcement was ‘planned’ to prevent people from being added. He said the date was cut off because of the law and not because of his government.

McKeeva Bush has stated that the July date was selected in order to give government time to implement the changes before the May 2013 general election if the 'yes' vote is successful. However, those who launched the petition for a referendum on the subject have persistently pointed out that the Boundary Commission has already done the work required to create the single member constituencies and that the Elections Office was already in a position to hold the May 2013 election under the system of OMOV.

At present the ‘yes’ campaign will need close to 8,000 votes to carry the day as a result of the high threshold set by government for 50% of the electorate plus one voter, rather than a majority of the turnout. However, if government was to change the law and allow more registrations, then they say the ‘yes’ vote will require a greater number to win and change Cayman’s voting system to the more equitable and accountable mode of one man, one vote in single member constituencies.

According to the law that has now been gazetted, the usual rules for elections will apply, which means registered voters can apply for mobile or absentee voting, and although referendum day will be a holiday, no liquor can be sold while the polling stations are open. 

See the Referendum Law below.

Category: Politics

Comments (46)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why bother, stay as an expat and leave when the 'welcoming Caymanians' throw you out after supporting their economy for 7 years. They don't want you here, they don't like you and they blame you for all of their inadequacies, why would you even consider paying for status or wanting to vote in such a country? 

    • Natural Mystic says:

      Why is it that everywhere a expat goes the same thing happens? 

      The Native Americans are now made to live where the expats tell them too on Reservations yet they roamed  all over the US before the expats came disease and warfare killed them out,

      In Africa the Native Africans were made slaves to the white man in their own country until recently they started to reclaim what was forcefully taken from them.

      All over the world expats invade countries and demand the Natives to do what they the expats want, and  we, they, them, are to just sit by and let history repat it self over and over!!! As for blaming expats for all that has now become the norm.

      Hhell yes we had to learn from them (you), because up until the late 80"s we could still run out and leave our doors unlocked at home,  sleep at night without the windows locked , and our brother was our keeper, we helped one another without the thought of any reward because thats how the older caymanians raised their children to be good stewards to thy brothers and sisters…….   

      You all come here with $$$$$ in your eyes and with no regard for those who are native here, our beautifull country has been distroyed by the influx of money hunger heathens of all walks of life from the "Armani Suits thugs" to the" Look at my ass crack drop draws gun bangers" .

      Everywhere you go the same thing happens, so lesson learned come visit but don't plan on staying, this country IS TOO SMALL for the Natives and expats. 

      Over population causes too many problems as we can see and unemployment is just the start.    

  2. Caymanian Expat says:

    I want to know if I am a Naturalized Caymanian Expat can I throw my hat into the arena for the upcoming General Elections in 2013? 

    I will run as an Independant canadate, I have an unlimited source of funds to place in this countrys economy and I have a lot of Ideas that would benefit the Cayman Islands.

    For instance the unemployment issue I would start by sending those expats that are in higher management packing because of my new countryman will have to be trained and to take their position, and as for the distruction of this beautiful country of mine and yours, I will implement a law that protects all public access to the beaches, sancuaries, and all other places deemed as beloved by my counrtymen/women, I would spend what ever it takes to make sure that any major projects are all brought before the people of this counrty to have THEIR say as to ensure the people vote for or against the projects this is your country and it's  your money being spent on the projects. 

    All of this being said as per my PR assistant, please vote for me in the coming General Elections my name is Mr. Im Gonna Be a Billionaire.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Sure. Just renounce any other citizenship you have.

    • asdfhjy says:

      Your appalling spelling, grammar and grasp of the English language will ensure that you fit in to our Legislative Assembly perfectly.

      • Caymanian Expat says:

        Your response shows your intellgence, this was a pun at our country politcal state, jackass!!! 

  3. Anonymous says:

    BE THE ONE

     50% of the electorate plus one voter.

  4. Anonymous says:

    If Cayman truly wants to comply with the UN charter on human rights then it should immediately review its incompatible immigration policy and especially the right to settle after a qualifying period. You can't just pick and choose the bits that suit you when human rights are at stake, it's all or nothing.

    • Anonymous says:

      That's why rollover was introduced.

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Why, so that we can be absolutely sure that human rights count for zero on the Cayman Islands. The roll over is not only stupid and economic suicide, but also a piece of bigoted and racist nonsense that will come back to bite Cayman one day.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Lifted from Apathy Equals no vote thread on this site.

    "Actually, Cayman News 27 is completely correct. The Elections Law (2009 Revision) (which refers to the requirements of the 1972 Constitution) needs to be amended to reflect the voter eligibility criteria of the 2009 Constitution which says that you need only be a status holder to vote and do not have to be naturalised.  "

    What does it take to get the above action taken ?… surely  the Constitution is above all?

      D for Democratic   ..correct ??

  6. Anonymous says:

    If this Government does not ammend the registration date to  allow the newly eligable citizens to vote in this most important  referendum, then they will be deliberately and willfully denying this section of the community their democratic right to particpate in the process .And remember this  is only about changing a date  and not about eligability.

    D for Democratic   correct  ??

  7. Anonymous says:

    Under the new Constitution you do NOT have to be naturalized to register to vote. This is what is causing such a stir, please be informed and call the elections office directly. It took over a week to get an answer but I can register to vote with Caymanian Status and no naturalization albeit not in the referendum unfortunately.

  8. Anonymous says:

    now they tell me. typical Cayman Government. assfumas.

  9. Anonymous says:

    One man, one vote!   Human Rights.     What about the ex-pats who are residents but have no vote?  When are their Human Rights going to be considered?

    • Anonymous says:

      They don't have any human rights to vote in someone else's country.

    • Anonymous says:

      Expatriate workers are guest workers. Guest workers in any country do not get a right to vote unless they are naturalized as citizens of the country. A feeling of entitlement does not equate to a human rights issue.

      • Anonymous says:

         Guest workers come and go,   Status holders are Caymanian citizens  and no longer guest workers .. because they have  settled here..  just look back and see when your descendants settled here.. settlers , like all the rest of the people that made this country over the generations.

    • Anonymous says:

      you can still vote in your home country right!? Absentee and all, I'm sure.

      However, if you want to vote so bad, fork up $20,000 and get your status. until then, enjoy the ride.

    • Jah Herod says:

      Holy Mackerel another one just landed amongst us

    • Stiffed-Necked Fool says:

      The most simple and logical thing to do is put the Referendum back to November when it was oroginally suppose to be, then there will be more time for people who want to, to register – Oh I forgot, nothing is simple and logical when we dealing with a Dictator!

    • Daffy Duck says:

      Or…. the "naturalised" and BOT (Cayman) "Citizens" that have no vote? Still need a work permit where you are a "citizen" have a passport…… Go figure!

      • Anonymous says:

        BOT citizenship does not make you a Caymanian any more than it makes you a Bermudan or Falkland Islander. Not much to figure. You have to be Caymanian to vote. What’s your problem with that?

      • Anonymous says:

        BOT citizenship does not make you a Caymanian any more than it makes you a Bermudan or Falkland Islander. Not much to figure. You have to be Caymanian to vote. What’s your problem with that?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Mckeeve needs to quit trying to rig the voting against the referendum! SHEESH

    They are trying to cheat because they know people want Single Member Constituencies: why else do you need to cheat?

    • Truth says:

      Cheaters gonna cheat.  Complainians gonna complain.  Educated gonna win.  Foo fool gonna belive.  Life is good.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Variation has been done before

    THE VARIATION OF REGISTRATION DATE NOTICE, 2008

    http://gazettes.gov.ky/sites/default/files/extraordinary-gazettes-supplements/Es282008_web.pdf

     

    In exercise of the powers conferred by section 2(1) of the Elections Law (2004
    Revision), the Governor issues the following Notice –
     
    1. This Notice may be cited as the Variation of Registration Date Notice,
    2008.
     
    2. For the purposes of the definition of the term “registration date” prescribed
    in section 2(1) of the Elections Law (2004 Revision), the 1st day of February,
    2009 is appointed as the registration date in respect of the period April to June
    2009.
    • Anonymous says:

      Section 2(1) Elections Law (2009 Revision) Interpretation, defines registration date as follows:

      “registration date” means the first day of January, April, July or October, as the case may be, next occurring after the coming into force of the last previous Register of Electors or such other date as the Governor may, by Notice published in the Gazette, appoint;

      So Governor can set a new registration date…….

  12. Anonymous says:

    So much for OMOV being non-political…Waiting to see what this party will be named and under what color they will stand.

  13. Annonnymous says:

    Voters should be allowed to register on a  daily basis.  Every 3 months new voters registered should be put to the public for objections which they can do at any time; then the new voters coming thereafter will be disclosed in the next 3 month report. This all seems a bit backward. I certainly believe it is a violation of human rights.  Registration restriction in the Law, in my opinion, is just another way of controlling the Polls by a corrupt government.

    • Anon says:

      Oooh so many things that happen here are a violation of human rights. Every day I am astounded. No pension for ‘helpers’, endlessly escalating fee for PR holders, backdoor deals, Vegas cash payments, denial of rights for permit holders, intimidation of free speach and the press, and the song plays on and on…

  14. You Would Not Dare says:

    These people would never dare raise a rights challenge, because they know the limits on the right of citizens of the sovereign entity to vote and stand after 10 years residence would also be found to be a rights breach.

  15. Status Holder says:

    I am a Caymanian Status holder who has just learnt that I have the right to register to vote.

    On learning of the OMOV petition, I immediately took steps to see if the registration requirements for voting had changed. 

    According to the Elections Office website (today's date): 

    Original documents needed for CAYMANIAN STATUS HOLDER: (Items # 1, 4 and 5 on the Form 4 application.)

    1. Birth Certificate
    2. Caymanian Status Certificate /Letter, and
    3. Caymanian Naturalisation Certificate

    Based on this information, provided by the official Government Agency in charge of elections, I did not attempt to register, but looked into becoming Naturalised. I now discover that it is too late to register for the upcoming referendum, and I believe that I have been disenfranchised.

     

    • jhfgvc says:

      You need to call the office, the website is wrong, this changed with the constitution in 2009. If you are a Caymanian (including a status holder) you no longer need to be naturalised as well.

      • Anonymous says:

        …so long as you were already deemed to be Caymanian on Nov 5th 2009.   See section 90-1(a) of the Constitution.

    • Lord of the Jungle says:

      Booooooooohoooooo

    • Anonymous says:

      You should not feel entitled to vote before having pledged your allegience via the Naturalisation Oaths.  There is an established process for all of this and those that have gone before you have submitted considerable time and effort to do it correctly.  Full Naturalisation process via Dep Gov's office can take > 6 months (mine took 9 months), so I would suggest you start the process now if you wish to qualify for elections voting in 2013!  Good luck!

       

      • Status Holder says:

        Thanks for the good wishes,

        I am now eligible under the new Constitution. Why would I need to pledge allegiance when I was born and remain a full British Citizen? As for the lengthy process, I did this to obtain Status through the Board, unlike many who had it handed out without due process through Cabinet. Much of the Naturalization requirements are similar or identical to the Status application, and I found it an imposition to ask my Caymanian referees to provide letters (once again) in my support

        I understand that you spent a great effort in becoming Naturalized, but it is unconscionable that the Elections Office allowed Status Holders to believe this was a legal requirement for registering up until today, far too late to participate in the upcoming referendum.

        Elections Office officials – with the greatest respect, please expect myself and others to challenge this referendum on the grounds of illegal disenfranchisement. You are charged with providing the voting public with accurate information regarding their voting rights, yet up until yesterday you have displayed the eligibility under the old constitution (I have a dated screen shot).  This would be a minor inconvenience except for the last minute referendum announcement by the Government.  As is stands, a significant number of eligible born Caymanian voters are being disenfranchised on the basis of not having sufficient notice to register, and any Status Holder that relied on the Elections Office website for eligibility requirements has also been disenfranchised through disinformation.  

        The legal challenge can be avoided simply by delaying the referendum.

         

    • Status Holder says:

      I have now been successful in having my application to register accepted (without being Naturalized). My name should therefore appear on the new list, to be compiled on July 1, but not gazetted until July 21, three days AFTER the referendum.

      The eligibility requirements have finally been corrected onthe Elections Office website, too late to help Status Holders who relied on that office to provide the correct information.

      Add to that anyone who delayed registering because they relied on the UDP Government's stated intention not to hold the referendum until next year, or even later this year, as requested by the OMOV campaigners, has now effectively been prevented from voting in the upcoming referendum.

      The only honorable course is for the Government to demonstrate their commitment to the democratic process by delaying the referendum

       

  16. Anonymous says:

    I wish I could go on a long vacation and forget all about this

    • Anonymous says:

      yup…its called moving.

    • Not hopefull says:

      If you are a registered voter before you leave n vacation be sure to sign up for your absnetee ballot so you can vote YES for OMOV.  Enjoy your trip.

  17. Anonymous says:

    This artificial deadline doesn't sound right CNS.  We still have 46 days before next list is due to be published on July 1st and it takes only minutes to register with required backup documents.  Additionally, the Elections Office is not generating new voter registration cards because they EXPECT the adoption of OMOV and the deliniation of new electoral boundaries to result in required reissuance of cards to many.  

  18. JoeB says:

    Wow! he's smarter than he looks.

  19. Anonymous says:

    OH NOOOOOOO! I literally have all of my documents together to register this week. The last election was the first I was eligible and didn't register because I thought well, they won't vote this guy in again…. Having just returned from school I finally wanted to get involved.  Hopefully I get the chance. Mac just make it fair, please.