Voters warned to mark ballots clearly

| 17/05/2009

(CNS): Spoilt ballot papers placed into the voting boxes will be discounted the Supervisor of Elections Kearny Gomez has warned. He explained that failure to mark a ballot correctly could result in it being rejected by the officials who do the counting. He said that for the General Elections, voters are instructed to place an X within the space to the right of the candidate or candidates for whom they wish to vote and for the Referendum they should mark their X next to ‘Yes’ or ‘No” on the ballot paper.

The Election Law states that where a vote is marked otherwise than by an X, it is valid if it is clear what the voter’s intention was. Gomez explained that in the past, some people have used a check mark or a cross or have even written yes and no but any mark other than an X will slow down the counting because the officer in charge of counting must allow candidates and agents to see all ballot papers and they may wish to scrutinise unusual marks.

“The X should be inside the box with the candidate’s name. If the X intersects on the line between the names of two candidates, that vote will be invalid,” he added. East End and North Side voters may choose one candidate and voters in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman may choose up to two candidates. In Bodden Town, he noted voters may choose up to three candidates and in West Bay and George Town, voters may choose up to four candidates.

“If a voter marks more candidates than he or she is entitled to, the ballot will be rejected and none of the votes will count, “Gomez said adding that voters who have two, three or four votes will not help their candidate by putting more than one X behind that person’s name. And that even XXX for one candidate will count as one vote. However, where a voter may choose more than one candidate, but some of the marks are not clear, the whole ballot will not be rejected. Marks that show a clear intention will count as long as the voter has not marked more candidates than he or she is entitled to.  

He explained that those voting in the Referendum are being asked if they approve the new Draft Constitution and the answer is YES or NO. “Voters should place their X in the space to the right of their answer, within the box,” Gomez aid. “Any mark other than an X will slow down the counting process, since observers will be scrutinising all ballots. He also said voters should not sign or initial their ballots for either the election or the referendum explaining that if the voter could be identified by any writing or markings, the ballot will be rejected.

He noted that voters need to check the location of the polling division and station they should attend on Wednesday, 20 May, to cast their ballots pointing out that the polling place might not be the same as in the 2005 elections. “Copies of the official List of Registered Electors have been placed in district post offices, major supermarkets and gas stations. The list tells each voter where to go. The list is also on the website” he said.

Voters are not permitted to cast their ballot at any other station – only the one assigned.

There will be only one counting station for the three electoral districts of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, East End and North Side have only one counting station, referred to as the Main Counting Station. For Bodden Town, George Town and West Bay, there will be a sub-count of election ballots at each polling division, but the Main Count Counting Stations are where the postal ballots and mobile ballots will be tabulated along with the sub-count totals.

The Supervisor said each district’s Main Count Counting Station is where the final election results will be announced and voters are reminded that the referendum ballots will be counted at one venue on Thursday, 21 May.


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Category: Election 2009

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Very curious that the constitution ballots will not be counted until 21 May – AFTER the new government has been declared.

    The new administration may have very clear interest in outcome of the constitution vote.

    So what the heck is the security procedures etc for the constitution ballots overnight??

    This is most peculiar to me and leaves the constitution vote counting open to risk of interference. This is a very troubling arrangement to me..