Election season underway

| 20/01/2009

(CNS): Although only a handful of candidates have officially declared themselves to be standing in this year’s General Election, the election season was officially opened yesterday when Governor Stuart Jack issued writs to the six returning officers in the electoral districts who will supervise the proceedings, the count and declare the winners. With more than 14,000 voters currently registered, the elections office says it will be making a final push to attract any remaining eligible voters before registration closes on the night of 1 February.

In an official ceremony in the courts on the morning of Monday, 19 January, the governor in the presence of the senior staff from the Elections Office, issued the official writs to Delano Oliver Solomon for the district of West Bay, Philip Antonio Barnes for George Town, Lee Frederick Ramoon for Bodden Town, Jennifer Louise Kaufman for North Side, Dale Morrison Banks for East End and Dave Talbert Tatum for the Sister Islands.

The General Election will be held this year on 20 May, and the returning officers are not only responsible for supervising their district polling stations, proceedings and ballot boxes on the day, they will also supervise the count and make the official announcements, declaring which candidates have been elected to the seats made vacant by the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly by the governor on 24 March. The returning officers also supervise the nomination procedure for candidates who have declared themselves to be standing in the elections. This year nominations will take place in each of the electoral districts between 8:00am and 3:00pm on 25 March.

This year the Elections Office, which is the overall supervisor body for the entire process, may also have to deal with a referendum on the country’s proposed new constitution on the same day, which will require an entirely separate team of returning officers, election staff and polling booths and will in effect run as a separate but parallel operation.

“There will be a separate exercise to launch the referendum,” explained Colford Scott, one of the two deputy supervisors of elections. “There would be separate persons employed in each of the electoral districts to conduct the referendum process, which is conducted under a similar but different law.”

Kearney Gomez, Supervisor of Elections, said that the Elections Office is now focusing on two primary issues — the first is the drive to recruit the staff required to conduct both the General Election and the National Referendum. Gomez said the office will need double the usual amount of people, which means he will need to recruit and train as many as 600 volunteers before Election Day.

“We already have a pool of people butthis year we need double the usual number and we are approaching the private sector for volunteers,” he said, explaining that anyone who would like to participate does not have to be Caymanian but merely have lived on the island for more than four years.

The second major drive is to focus on ensuring that all remaining eligible voters have signed on the electoral roll before the register closes on the night of 1 February. Staff from the Elections Office will be hosting mobile registration booths this week and next on Tuesday and Thursday evenings in all six districts. Voters can also register at the Smith Road Professional Centre, 154 Smith Road, on Saturdays.

Election Registration schedule

All Districts: Saturday 24 & 31 January: Smith Road Professional Centre 154 Smith Rd  10am-4pm

West Bay: John Gray Memorial Hall – 26 West Church Street & John A. Cumber Primary School Hall – 44 Fountain Road Tuesday 20 & 27 January    6-8pm Thursday 22 & 29 January  6-8pm

George Town: Ground Floor, Kirk House, 22 Albert Panton Street Tuesday 20 & 27 January 6:00–8:00pm. Thursday 22 & 29 January 6:00 – 8:00 pm Elections Office Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 8:00 pm

Bodden Town: Foster’s Country Side Shopping Village, 33F Hirst Road, Webster Memorial United Church Hall, 266 Bodden Town Rd, Tuesday 20&27 January 6:00–8:00pm Thursday 22&29 January 6:00-8:00pm

North Side: North Side Civic Centre, 923 North Side Road, Tuesday 20 & 27 January  6:00 – 8:00 pm Thursday 22nd & 29th January                6:00 – 8:00 pm.

 East End: United Church Community Hall EE,  2479 Sea View Road  Tuesday 20&27 January 6-8:00pm Thursday 22 & 29 January 6-8:00pm                                                           

 Cayman Brac & Little Cayman: Cayman Brac Museum, 279 Stake Bay Rd Tuesday 20&27 January                6:- 8:00pm. Thursday 22 & 29 January 6-8pm

Nominations Schedule:

West Bay :  John Gray Memorial Church                  26 West Church Street

George Town:  Church of God Chapel Family Life Centre  48BAcademy Way (off Walker’s Road)

Bodden Town:  James M. Bodden Civic Centre   445C Bodden Town Road

North Side: Craddock Ebanks Civic Centre  923 North Side Road

East End: William Allen McLaughlin Civic Centre  80 John McLean Drive

Cayman Brac &  Little Cayman: District Administration Building 2nd Flr 19 Kirkconnell Street

Nominations will be received between the hours of 8:00 am and 3:00 pm in the afternoon. Nomination forms may be collected any weekday between the hours of 8:30 am -6:00pm

For more details visit the Elections Office website

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments (2)

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  1. Diane says:

    See what Sandra Catron stands for on her website. She’s ahead of the came and as ususal is doing more than the parties ever have. We need to give this young lady a chance to represent the people of Cayman: http://www.sandracatron.com

  2. Anonymous says:

    Please can you  post an article explaining what the different candidats stand for?  I am a new voter and have no idea what the parties represent.  Thank you