Accidental disenfranchisement is one off, says office

| 01/05/2013

disenfranchise.jpg(CNS): The accidental removal of an elector from the register of voters was a one off, election officials have said. A West Bay voter found she had been removed from the list in error by the district’s registering officer, but not until after the cut-off point for the general election. However, she will not be able to vote because she had not checked the list. The Elections Office has admitted that this was a mistake on the part of its staff but said the list had been updated and circulated at least five times since the voter was left off and she had not checked it.

The office said there were no concerns of widespread disenfranchisement and the only people that have been removed were former voters who were deemed to no longer qualify under the law.

The deputy supervisor of elections said the reason why everyone is asked to check the register every time it is updated is to ensure that there are no omissions and errors. In this case, had the voter checked sooner her name could have been returned to the list in time for the election but there was no way for the office to realise the mistake unless alerted by the voter.

The law allows for errors and therefore places the burden on the elector to ensure their details, including any changes to their address, are correct as each quarterly register is closed.

In its letter to the voter, the office pointed out that her name disappeared from the role during the 21 July 2012 list and was left off ever since. However, the register had been updated and republished for voters to review five times before the voter checked to find she was not on the list when it was updated on 1 April.

Category: Politics

Comments (49)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    For crying out loud, the elector is entitled to vote except for some BS adminstration crap, and we're all supposed to be relieved that it's a "one-off"? Are they nuts?

    What damn planet are these cretins living on?!! Fix your faulty system and restore the electors right to vote NOW.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I was checking the list today and within a group of 12 names (of a specific last name) I saw two that have been off the island for years and one that is deceased. I believe there was new list issued on April 1st?? (not sure). If so, that deceased person should’ve been taken off before that list was published. So, the deceased remains and the living eligible voters are removed!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Official Register of Electors:   http://www.electionsoffice.ky

  4. Anonymous says:

    WOW!!! Can someone please tell that I never missed it? But did I see right when I have read all these comments and they are not blaming BIG MAC for this error too!!!! I mean come on.  Why not?  I mean lay it on him as everything else is being blamed on him!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I got my status by being born in Grand Cayman, to two caymanian parents, and has lived here all my life.  I know of loyal status holders to the Mighty Casino Christian.  I am loyal to my country and just hate to see it destroyed by loyalists to CORRUPTION.

    • Anonymous says:

      20.50, yep you missed it! And a whole lot more by the tone of your comment…

  5. Anonymous says:

    Not true, there are more voters in this situation. I have a letter from the Elections Office to another voter in Bodden Town and looking into 2 more in George Town.

  6. Anonymous says:

    First time I've had the priviledge to vote here.     You can believe that I checked and rechecked and checked again.   Now…….. should my voting priviledge mysteriously disappear, whose fault is it?     If there has been an error, it wasn't on the  elector's part, as electors cannot remove themselves from the list.     

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree! The Elections Office staff members have an obligation, especially when updating the voters list, to make sure they check that they are removing the correct names before touching that “enter” button. This is bad!

  7. Anonymous says:

    I personally got tired of being reminded to check the register.  Yes it is a shame that there was a mistake. But all of us, do.  That is one reason that they keep publicizing the need to check the register to make sure you are on it.

      My vote is important to me.  Very important.  I make sure I check each time a new register is published.

    We need to understand that it is not just our democratic obligation to vote; but also to make sure we are still on the roles to do so.

    I do sympathize with the individual and hope she or the elections office do not make the same mistake in the future.  I think it is a fair system and one that any voter should understand.

     

  8. Anonymous says:

    My goodness!  Not even high officials want to correct THEIR MISTAKE!  Sad.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I cannot believe the Elections Office is blaming this voter for NOT checking the list to confirm
    that her name was not on it. I was personally told by the Eelections Office years ago that the
    ONLY means of getting off of this list once you’re ever on it is by death! And even dead people
    Seem to remain on it.

    The Elections Office should be one of the most organized government departments as we only
    have elections every 4 years.

    I totally agree – sometimes I am ashamed to be a Caymanian.

    • Anonymous says:

      At work I have to check my own work for mistakes, and if I make one I cant blame anyone else. This is typical of government employees, doing careless work with no accountability.

      How many times must a voter check the bloody register anyway – if you confirm once per year that should be more than enough

      Election office too busy meddling around trying to find out if we selling our vote for a corn beef sandwich and not paying attention to what really matters.

    • Anonymous says:

      Doesn't the election law require that the elections office notify electors when they are removed?

      • Anonymous says:

        The Governor is seeking legal advice on a talk show host, so why shouldn't an elector be afforded legal advice on the Election Office's errrrorrrr????   Legal advice should be free for the citizens of this country, especially in this particular circumstance.

    • Annonymous!!! says:

      You are a registered voter. Haven't moved, changed her name so what is so difficult to place her name back on the list. This is common thing with some registar of voters.

      Why lay the blame at the voter, I'm registered, so why do I have to keep checking the list, no its wrong. Wonder who this woman was supposed to vote for?  tampering:(

      God have mercy on the 22 may

  10. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Governor. Are you asleep?. With observers around, is this really legal. One Voter? could this be 100? , 10000? Either way the Election process should not be able to continue and a new process should have been called, with every voter that should be on the list being allowed to vote. This is out right ilegal and should be considered and Election Fraud. UK, its time to move the troops and get this little Island free of coruption. Lets see who is going to be left to speak out when every duppy name is on the list and all the other names are off. Election process should be stopped, The Election Office employee should be sacked, what excuse for such an error.? This is not just an error for the employee, this is an error on the Cayman Islands election Process. This simple error should not be taken lightly. How do we know this is the only error? How many more names are on or off ?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely correct decision.  Voters bear the obligation of checking the register.  Voters were encouraged to check the register ahead of the cut off date for the election.  This potential voter's dilatory attitude is her problem not ours.  It is vital that there is finality in a list for an election, and that premise, central to election laws, has always resulted in a few voters missing out.  In this case, since the voter missed out because of her own failure to check the register there should be no sympathy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lets hope when you get to the counter to make your vote you are told your name is not on the list. I might like to vote, but I sure dont have time every minute to be checking something that should not be able to change due to lack of "one employee". Lets take a veiw that the employee know this person and heard them bashing UDP / PPM, (for example), and this Voter was a vocal person that made it obvious how they would be voting. (If the Governor does not understand how things work around here by now, let me explain in this example). So Voter was obvious how they wanted to vote, election employee could have told her, "yeah we ga see hu yu ga vote fa, I ga show yu hu in chage heh. yu na be voting a tal." With the voter thinking it would be impossible for such a thing to happen, there was not reason to be checking every year. What we would need to further know if this is an error, is if this voter has voted before and what is her obvious stance. But Mr. poster, as I started, I hoping your name not there, because Im sure you do not have time to keep checking the list. And have you checked the list latley? hmmmm got you thinking now ? Bet you gonna run go check now. But bra, that list na no where to be found. Oh and CNS, could you FOI that peice of detail, who was the employee and how was the error possible, after all it is an employee of the public. I am not able to request , since I want to vote first and dont want my name to dissapear. (funny not not so funny).

    • Anonymous says:

      How many people in the use are running around trying to find out if they are eligible or not to vote?

      It is just like going to pick up the voters registration cards.  Mail them out to the addresses, people are busy and have no time to go and collect them.

       

  12. Anonymous says:

    Why does the voting population have to check the list for mistakes everytime it is updated?

    If the voter was on previous lists, qualifies to vote, and a clerical error (which no one will except blame for or off course  any action taken against… this is the civil service after all) happened, put them back on!

  13. Power of the People says:

    Not good enough! I checked for my name when the list was first issued. There I was. I had no need to check again. Should we assume that there is ineptitude in government agencies tasked with doing their job so we must micro-manage them in order to be sure that they do not screw up!? Uhhhhh, hell no!

    I would suggest that this voter not leave it be. I know for sure that I would fight this one through the courts. This is a blatant disregard for her human rights. Every eligible person has the right to vote. Period. If she went through the proper channels and was registered as a voter, then by God, she will vote come May 22.

    Elections office, get off your butts and fix this. It is NOT her fault – the onus is on YOU to do your job NOT her to check every week to ensure that she hasn't been removed. Seriously! Talk about passing the buck. Own up and deal with it.

    Unacceptable!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    I would like to know more about this voter.

    Does she have any party affiliations?  Is she a member of a prominent family?  Where does she work?  Is she Caymanian by birth or a paper caymanian (not trying to be offensive, just using the jargon everyone understands).

    Disenfranchisement is a very serious issue.  If one person is disenfranchised we could all be.  Its a slippery slope people.

    And then to turn around and blame the voter, how rude and un-proffesional.

    • Anonymous says:

      09.49 you bein' too nosey!!

      Poor lady suffered an accidental disenfranchisement and she needs a good long rest after sucha terrible accident. And no anasaetic in sight I heard!! How wud you like it if someone stick their nose in your business after such an unfortunate incident? Cos if you don't back off that what gonna happen.

      Lady, my thoughts are with you and wish you a speedy recovery. Look on the bright side, absolutely no one gonna blame you for electing a bad government this time round!!

      • Anonymous says:

        People around the world take up arms and die for the right to vote in their own country. You demean the sanctity of that right.

        • Anonymous says:

          16.59-true, however here in Cayman it is the politicians who are trying to demean that right, not the public.It strikes me this lady has no one else to blame but herself, everyone is supposed to check they are on the roll, even in the UK its the same. So stop taking yourself so seriously and get a sense of humour.

      • Anonymous says:

        SUE THEM. They denied you your democratic right.

  15. Anonymous says:

    "There was no way for the office to realize the mistake"???

    Did they actually say that?  Are they saying they have zero procedures in place to catch errors and avoid mishaps?  Is that really what they're saying????

    The entire elections office needs to be investigated and overhauled if that is the case.

    Anyone who has ever dealt with the civl service knows that they live by procedures and regulations.  I'm not trying to bash the civil service because that's how it should work.  There are checks and balances and rules and regs to follow.  But now they are saying they had no procedures, no checks.  Which simply cannot be true.  XXXX

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes they have procedures in place to catch mistakes like this and they have explained the procedure. Keep checking the list each time it is redone to ENSURE that you are not removed. Thats the procedure. If you fail to follow the elections office procedure then you risk being taken off either accidentally or intentionally with legitimate reason. How hard is it for Caymanians to follow instructions.

  16. Anonymous says:

    This is a ridiculous response. Blame the voter for not finding their mistake sooner? Hope the courts are asked to fix this. It would not be difficult.

  17. semi pro says:

    It's amature hour over at the elections office, and as usual the citizens of Cayman pay for their "wat-less-ness".  Mr. Christian, Mr. McTaggart, and now this person. 

    Come see how many dead people vote this year, somehow that won't be their fault either!

  18. Anonymous says:

    I hope the voter sues – blaming the victim is not an option! What do our aspiring politicians have to say on this?

    • Anonymous says:

      Denial of voting rights is only about $1500-$2000 compensation absent a finding of bad faith.

      • Anonymous says:

        Your estimate is from countries where the power (and therefore value) of a vote is much less than it is here.

        • Anonymous says:

          Not sure that is a valid point, since local elections for small town councils etc are similar in size to the Cayman elections, and anyway the elections in Cayman are only local elections as opposed to national ones.  For a one of error the compensation guidelines would seem about right. 

          • Anonymous says:

            They are national elections for Cayman. You keep forgetting that Cayman is not a part of the UK but an overseas territory of the UK.

      • Anonymous says:

        How can you put a value on the privilege of a vote?   Maybe yours has a price, but mine does not — it is invaluable.  

  19. Anonymous says:

    She's not the only one.  Others won't speak up. 

    What is happening to our country?

  20. Anonymous says:

    Why was her name taken off to begin with?  Why won't the elections office answer that basic question instead of saying its her fault?

    Does anyone out there check the register every quarter to make sure their name is on it?  Are you kidding me?  In a free and fair democracy I should not be made to jump through hoops in order to vote.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Certainly, now that the entire nation understands this was a one-voter error, she could be manually penciled onto her district list and issued a new voter card?  It's not like they'd have to do this for 100 people.  How hard could that possibly be?

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe you're being sarcastic, but just in case you're not:  she isn't the only one!!!

  22. Anonymous says:

    The law allows for errors????? What????

    You mean to tell me the law actually says "we know these XXXXX will screw up so hey give them a break"????

    The law says that?  XXXX sometimes I'm so emabaraseed to be a Caymanian!!!!! 

    • Anonymous says:

      The last time that I checked the George Town voters lis I saw at least two deceased on it. The late Annice Solomon #6197, also the late Mrs Nadia Bodden #0586. These are not recent deceased, thought by now they would have been off the list.

  23. Anonymous says:

    This is complete BS!  This is not a one-off.  It has happened to other people and has happened to new voters who only had one opportunity to check if their name was on the register.  Once they checked and realized it was not they were told "Yes we screwed up but nothing can be done now"!
     

    I hope to high heaven the independent supervisors will be looking into this, but unfortuately I cant get the people involved to come foreward because they are scared.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a big, big problem and must be stopped.  People should not be 'scared' in 2013 to speak up and demand their rights!  This is absolute nonsense and those doing the 'threatening' or 'bullying' must be stopped, reported and thrown on top of Mount Trashmore for all to see!  If they think they are so important and powerful to bully people then let them wear their crown on top of where they belong!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Leave it to Gomez to blame someone else for his supervisory mistake.

     

    The BIG question is why was the name removed int he first place? On what authority did the Office remove the name?

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly!

      It's like me saying "I broke into your house and stole everything you have, but its your fault because you should have checked to see if I was in the neighborhood and then increased your security measures."

    • Far Canal says:

      Its alright though, as he's got a nice spanking new radar named after him……