Anglin condemns mobile vote

| 02/06/2009

(CNS): In his inaugural speech as a Minister, Rolston Anglin told the Legislative Assembly last week that mobile voting was a major mistake which disrupted the democratic process as people knew who others had voted for and that the “experiment “ was over. However, the Elections Office told CNS that there had been no complaints filed about the system and that mobile polling was equally secure as regular voting. Deputy Supervisor of Elections Colford Scott said that aside from those who had requested assistance, it was impossible for people to know how others had cast their vote.

During the adjournment debate in the opening session of this sitting of the LA on 27 May, criticising the new PPM opposition, Anglin said their creation of mobile voting had been the one thing that had disrupted the democratic process “like nothing he had ever seen”, in what was otherwise a strong election with an emphatic result. He said that moving through the community he had heard that people’s votes were out on the street.

“People knew who other people had voted for as a matter of fact. The ultimate tenet of democracy is the right to secrecy of one’s vote. I may be speaking out of turn, but as far as I am concerned the experiment of mobile voting is over,” Anglin said.  “I am not going to sit in a Cabinet that refuses to deal with a system that was one of the biggest mistakes and blunders to democracy in this country.”

However, Scott said that not only were there no complaints about the system of mobile voting, which he said had gone very well with people telling the office how pleased they were with it, the system was equally as secure as regular voting at polling stations.

“No one can know how anyone voted,” he said. “The only person that can offer assistance to an elector is a presiding officer who has sworn an oath to maintain the secrecy of the ballot. This is nothing new. A presiding officer can also help someone at a polling station in the same way.”

Scott explained that those who are incapacitated and cannot physically make their mark can only be assisted by a presiding officer or one witness of their choosing who also swears an oath. He added that with mobile voting all the candidates agents and representatives can witness the secrecy of the ballot unlike postal voting which had been the only alternative way to vote for those who could not get to a polling station on Election Day.

Scott explained that the introduction of the mobile polling stations was to reduce the large number of postal ballots sent out, which is a long and cumbersome project, slows down the count and is not as secure as mobile voting. He said that while those overseas would continue to vote via postal ballot, the introduction of mobile voting allowed even those that were incapacitated in Cayman to vote under circumstances much more reflective of a polling station.

“The process at the mobile station is exactly the same as the regular polls. It is just in advance of polling day,” Scott stated. “The ballot boxes were sealed and secured at the close of every mobile event. No one could put anything in or out of those boxes. There is nothing different about the mobile voting system.”

Anglin had, however, told the LA that when the past government moved the bill to introduce the mobile system, the United Democratic Party had done the research and showed the government that it had a shady and spotty reputation across the world. Yet the PPM administration had chosen to adopt the system. He said that while there was no perfect system, one which allowed people to have first hand account of who peoplevoted for was an intrusion that could not be allowed to continue, especially in a small tight knit community. “It cannot be right,” he said.

Anglin invited people to Google for themselves and see the criticisms of mobile voting.

However, there is in fact a considerable body of research to the contrary which cites mobile voting as a far more secure system than the traditional postal ballot, which is itself more susceptible to fraud.

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  1. Ironwood says:

    Mr. Anglin is very cleaver, or he think he is.

    He’s only complaining because he can’t get to keep (or losing his grip) that control to “control” those that he and other politicians have taken hostage by popping in their homes and say, “Here old friend put ya X right here by me and X & X” etc.. It is easier to dictate in this way, because the more you can pop by a home, bar or other, you gain. So by having the use postal ballots, it fits their agenda for all mighty power. They have taken advantage of these same mental, uneducated West Bay citizens for a long time just to gain that extra power of “X” by my name.
     Am happy that the mobile voting came into effect as it did, and it did for the same reason, prevents this sort of corrupt way of taking advantage of the elector. As Mr. Scott pointed out, the process at the mobile station is exactly the same as the regular polls.
     Mr. Minister, that is the biggest mistake and blunder to democracy to this country, not the other way around. You were right when you said, “I may be speaking out of turn”

    • Anonymous says:

      It seems as if the people were detemined to sweep out the PPM  no matter what format  of voting was used.  Mobile voting or not, the people voted UDP.  For all those who are posting denigrating remarks about the Premiere Designate – well, that’s exactly what was going on during the campaign, so nothing has changed when it comes to that.  Mac takes all the negativity with a grain of salt and a shrug of his very capable shoulders.   Thank God for the likes of McKeeva Bush.

      • Anonymous says:

        "For all those who are posting denigrating remarks about the Premiere Designate – well, that’s exactly what was going on during the campaign, so nothing has changed when it comes to that"

        The difference is that during a political campaign people get on emotional highs and many were so panicked about our economic situation they were desparate to put in anyone who held a prospect of fixing it, and Mr. Bush has a reputation for being proactive. The result was that crisis-induced panic crowded out commonsense. Consequently people were prepared to push to the back of their minds the very serious issues there are Mr. Bush’s governance. Well, the campaign is over. The UDP is in govt. and reality will begin set in.   

  2. Scooby Doo says:

    I agree Rolston, we should go with text voting instead.

    "Text the word VOTE to 1345 12345 for Rolston Anglin"…..

    By the way, the corresponding number you left in the ballot box is plenty enough to identify you with if anyone so chooses.

    da dum, da dum, da dum da dum da dum da dum da dum……

  3. Anonymous says:

    Please explain to me why this is such a big issue?? when every Tom, Dick & Harry tells every Tom, Dick & Harry who they voted for. If they don’t publicly say it, you can sure take a good guess by listening to the talk shows, the TV coverage & flags on cars all throughout the campaign.

    Furthermore……..of greater , more alarming concern that Rolston SHOULD talk about is the fact "the 2003 status grantees now turn electors" were asking polling clerks the question…. "I was told to vote for UDP but I don’t know the names" and even more alarming is the fact that the UDP agents were granted permission to show them the names on the ballot paper!! 

    Now that, along with the unlawful distribution of cards with names of UDP candidates outside the polling station on election day, in my mind, are the only underhanded acts that went occurred.

    But of course, nothing and absolutely no-one will be accountable for those acts. Mac has more lives than a cat………….from First Cayman Bank days, to the West Bay land, to Boatswains Beach, to the Port fiasco right up to present day ……………he has never been made accountable for any of this so there you go……………..why should this be any different?


  4. Anonymous says:

    Is this all we can talk about! Give me a break!!! I guess the PPM did not do a bad job there was no scandals to talk about….. Lets move on with the real issues….

  5. Fancy Pants says:

    The UDP should be challenged on the misconduct of their agents, officers and even candidates on Polling day when they distributed cards showing people how to vote. This was tampering and should have been dealt with by the police. The PPM, if they had any guts would have seriously challenged it.  I for one think that it played out in the election results.

    • Clearviewer says:

      I do beleive that the  mobile voting was a good idea, BUT I do think that the agents that are sent to the homes should not go into the area with the voter as some of them came back out and could tell who they voted for, the onus is on the agents that are at the sites, they are more bias  than the canidates them selves, have them bonded and if they squeal, OUT they go.

      • Anonymous says:

        I too have heard stories about who voted for whom.  Heard of a particular  voter who,  when they said they wanted to vote for a particular last name, was only given one of the  full names of  the two people who had the same last name on the ballot. 

        I agree though, that the candidates need their agents there to protect their interest.  Bear in mind, no matter how objective  everyone tries to be on election day , each person has their own preference when it comes to a party.  Therefore, if all the Gov agents are all of one persuasion  or party one would have to wonder about the fairness of the process.

         I think mobile voting was a horrible idea, theelderly felt intimidated with all the fuss and  strange people in their homes invading their privacy. 

        My sister, for one, refused to mobile vote and pushed herself to go to the polls even though she was not all  that well.  She said she wanted the privacy that the polls afforded her and I quite agree.


    • Anonymous says:

      You’re right fancy pants: the PPM should have enough juevos to challenge the BT candidates.

      But, see section 92(4) of the Elections Law, which actually allows cards saying "vote for" along with the name of a Candidate to be distributed on polling day (Elections Day). This wasn’t done by the PPM because they were misled about the law.

      • Anonymous says:

        To: Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 06/02/2009 – 15:55.

        At least this appears to be a UDP ackowledgement fo the truth of the allegations.  

  6. Anonymous says:

    You are so right Mr. Anglin.  This was not a very secure way of doing things.  If the process was to be kept confidential, then all measures should have been taken to ensure confidentiality somehow, even when the voter needs assistance.  It is good that you are doing this from the onset of your administration so it does not happen again.  In such a small community we cannot afford to have people going around spreading the word about how someone voted – and no matter how much swearing in, you know gossips can’t help themselves.  My friend’s grandmother was upset because she accidentally spoiled a ballot and when the election’s officer was marking it as spoiled, she saw her initial votes despite having the ability to keep the ballot folded up and confidential.  Almost like she intentionally did that to see the vote.  Not confidential at all. 

    If the past government had won, it would almost mean certain victimisation of people who they knew did not vote for them, and yes a lot of that was going on.  As an example, I had shown up at a couple of PPM events and people made comments to ask why I was there if I am UDP.  I am not even affiliated with any party and was simply trying to get every politician’s views and giving everyone a fair chance, but it’s funny how perception was everything to them.  I simply never liked the arrogant, closed-minded ways of the PPM politicians themselves so I pretty much wrote them off.  Not that I was for UDP.  As a business owner, I simply wanted a better, more responsive government this time as the PPM failed and left the country in a bad state, whoever that would be, and this time the UDP seemed a better option!  Who knows what will happen next time? 

    I even hear ex-pats who have been here a short time are happy about the UDP being in, as word of mouth is faster than fire when it comes to bad things.  And, no, I don’t mean Jamaicans!  I don’t want to get people started on their Jamaican bashing.  That is so un-Caymanian as we work so closely with the Jamaican community, and I wish all the sour grapes would stop and let the government to its job.  We should pray a lot for peace and understanding in our hearts so that all this bitterness stopsand we can work together how we used to or even how we know we can be to each other, like after Hurricane Ivan.  Hopefully, a lot of those previous politicians and their supporters have now been humbled a bit and they can stop this divisiveness.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Anglin would  favor the the postal ballots rather than the mobile voting, as this is how the WB UDP got a lot of their votes.  Anglin please check with you other team mates before making those kinds of remarks.

    Mr. Colford Scott was very satisfied with the process!!!!!!! That speaks volumes!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I didn’t hear anyone else in the UDP complain about the Mobile Voting.

      Presumably Rolston is suggesting that the UDP, at his direction, will change the law to remove mobile voting.

      Last time I heard, a change in the law would require a motion to be brought before the LA asking the Government to amend the law.

      CNS: Isn’t there something within parliamentary procedure about a Minister dragging these types of things into the Public domain before actually bringing a motion on them in the LA?

    • Sav/New says:

      Ummm should they maybe concentrate on real issues.  I mean surely there has to be an abundance of concerns that could be focused on that the PPM apparently "failed on" while in power???…   


  8. Anonymous says:

    Since the Elections office had no issue with Mobile voting, I wonder why Anglin would need to change this. Why, simply because another party initiated this procedure.

    Mr. Anglin please tell the Caymanian people how you plan to address what took place in George Town, that should be your major  concern. Fix what didn’t work.


  9. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if the UDP Party actually met and agreed to this position being taken by Rolston.

    I get the feeling that the UDP Cabinet is being strongarmed by Mac and Rolston – more so Rolston.

  10. Anonymous says:

    To the second poster your are as confused as Mr Anglin, with mobile voting the elections office sent people out to one’s residence so there would be no need to take your mother any where therefore the access is your problem. I wish people would read and understand what is said before openinig their mouth.

    • Anonymous says:

      I took this upon myself to take my mother as I thought that this was my responsibility.

      As for the officers going to people’s homes, we didn’t know who we could trust so I TOOK HER! I guess you have a problem with that …huh!!



  11. Anonymous says:

    Is this his biggest concern as he takes office!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I totally agree with you on this Mr. Anglin.

    I experienced this as I took my elderly mother to vote.

    The access was a very poor set-up (I wonder who designed the ramps???)

    There was no privacy! The officers were dis-organised and YES EVERYONE KNEW WHO MY MOTHER VOTED FOR!!

    Also this was where some of the candidates took advance of elderly people that  "were unable to speak or comprehend and got their vote from them."

    Please get this sorted out before the next election. 


  13. Anonymous says:

    Guess this means the UDP wants to get back to their old tricks. Too bad because this was one of the better things from the PPM. It ment that a person actually had to be conscious of the event. I wonder how many have voted in past elections that did not even know that they voted?

    Seems to me that some of the ministers don’t like the idea that they were second elected in their districts……even is only by a few votes