Voter drive targets 18,000

| 22/10/2012

IMG-20121011-00266.jpg(CNS): The Elections Office and the Grasp Your Future campaign are both hoping to see the Cayman Islandsvoter register boosted to over 18,000 as a result of the various efforts currently underway to ensure that everyone who is entitled to vote at the next election has a chance to do so. Deputy Supervisor of Elections Colford Scott said that the number of people out there that are eligible but have not registered is unknown and said the estimate of 10,000 circulated by local activists cannot be verified. However, he said there were several thousand people who could be voters in the May 2013 General Election but have not yet registered. Before the register closes to new electors for the general election on 2 January 2013, he said, the office expects the voters' list to have increased by about 3,000 more people.

In the latest update to the list, which was published on 1 October, there are 15,773 people registered, an increase of around 500 since the referendum on 18 July.

As the drive continues to try and attract as many people as possible, Supervisor of Elections Kearney Gomez pointed out the importance of registering to vote by 2 January, which is just 71 days away.

“There really is no good reason why you have not registered if you are qualified,” Gomez stated as he urged everyone eligible to do so to get on the voters list. “Take advantage of this opportunity to register, which will entitle you to vote in the May 2013 General Elections.”

The office is engaged in a full scale push and has mobile registration units out in the districts every weekend as well as an open door policy at the office.

Meanwhile, the Grasp you Future campaign is also actively engaged in a drive to attract as many of the 10,000 people they believe are out there as possible. Kenny Bryan, who is spearheading the grassroots push to boost the number pf electors, said he was disappointed that the Elections Office could not be more exact about the numbers.

“It is an important fact that I believe the office should be able to ascertain,” he added. “While I understand there are variables, the office should be able to tell us who is eligible. Even if these people may turn out not to be resident here in the last four years or have some other reason why they can’t in the first instance, we should have a figure that tells us how many people could vote, even if that has to be qualified.”

However, Bryan echoed the estimates of the Elections Office of an additional 3,000 people being on the voters list at this forthcoming election compared to the one used in the referendum this summer.

He said he was disappointed with the amount of young people he believes are out there that have not yet registered, a position he believes they may very well regret as the election date draws near and the country moves into campaign mode.

“Many people were disenfranchised in the referendum this summer because they missed the voter registration deadline for that vote after it was called so suddenly,” he said. “Lots of people then did not think hey were interested in politics but when the debate on that went public they found they were interested but were then unable to exercise their democratic right. Registering to vote doesn’t obligate you to vote but it gives you the choice.”

Nomination Day will be Wednesday 27 March 2013 and it will not be known until then who will be putting themselves forward as candidates. But by that time it will be too late for eligible voters to register in time for the national vote.

Bryan said that he and the Grasp Your Future campaigners were still manning the registration hot-lines and were able to assist anyone who wants to register. The group was continuing to encourage employers to host the team at their workplaces, he said, and they have conducted registration session in several offices in George Town and were scheduled for several more over the coming weeks.

Gomez said that he expectedthat, as is customary in Cayman, people would be leaving things until the last minute, so the Elections Office will be open until midnight on 2 January to give people every possible chance. But he urged those who are qualified not to leave things until then and to come by today.

“The right to vote is a great equalizer,” he said. “Your vote matters just as much as the next person's. However, in order to vote you must first be registered.”

With at least 18,000 people expected to be on the register in time for May 2013, the other pressing issue facing government is how they will be voting. The government has not yet made a decision regarding how the extra three MLAs will be slotted into the existing political landscape.

The premier rejected the majority vote in the recent referendum for one man, one vote because the number of ‘yes’ votes did not reach the artificially high goal of 50% of the entire electorate, but he has discussed the possibility of dividing the country into nine two-MLA constituencies based along a doubling up of the proposed single member constituencies. However, a promised committee to examine that does not appear to have been formed.

The Elections Office confirmed recently that they will need to know exactly how the three new seats will be incorporated before 12 December when the elections writs are issued.

For more information on registering to vote contact the Elections Office 949-8047 or the Grasp Your Future hotlines: 328 8683 or 928 8683.

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Category: Politics

Comments (21)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Hey Colford – does the constitution not require voters to have been resident in Cayman for at least 2 of the last 4 years. We ignoring that or wha?

  2. Thunder Storm says:

    I trust the Elections Office have now updated their records by removing all deceased and

    mentally ill persons from the Register.

    • Anonymous says:

      Except the UDP ones.  UDP dead can vote by proxy because of their closeness to the nation building churches.

  3. insane says:

    If I get my PR next year…..I will want to vote! In my country it's an obligation to vote. Here is my home now ( yes, my home, I live here not back in my country) so I will express myself voting.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can you vote if you have PR or do you need to have Caymanian Status?

  4. Anonymous says:

    You do not need to be naturalized to be able to register to vote.

    This country has been very good to my family since we arrived here in 1978 and made Cayman our home. I feel it is my duty to vote and have voted in every election I can and no one can buy my vote. You can influence how this country is run by voting. I am tired of hearing people say that Cayman is their home but they won't register to vote. I am speaking of indigenous Caymanians and "paper" Caymanians like myself. Please register if you can. 

    • Statustician says:

      My vote can be easily bought.  I have limited moral fiber and can be easily persuaded by promises of changes that will directly benefit me in the short term. 

  5. Anonymous says:

    They can drive all they want.  I will not be voting for any of the useless bunch we have.  There is no integrity among any of them.  Until we get rid of nepotism and cronyism, we have to face we are living in a dictatorship under the disguise of democracy.  One top public servant recently hired his own daughter to work in the same department he is in charge of to work alongside a deputy he appointed because of his relationship with her.  There is nothing anyone can do about it.  The electorate is powerless to change this.  The Cayman Islands will need an intervention like in T and C to get rid of this.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. 

      • Anonymous says:

        I guess you are one of those people who seems to think its good to vote for someone, anyone, rather than vote for nobody at all.  But I am one of those people who is only prepared to give my vote to somebody worth giving it to.  Unfortunately no such politricians exist on-island right now and until they do, I will not waste my vote on any of these good-for-nothing useless politricians.

        • Anonymous says:

          I didn't say that you HAD to vote for someone or anyone. I asked people to register. If you aren't registered, you can't vote if someone comes forward to run for election who you think might be good for the country.

        • Len Layman says:

          I do not totally agree with you but you make a good and valid point.

          I would like to add that everyone who cares about Cayman and is eligible should register to vote. 

          You then have the option of choosing to use that vote or not.  The deadline to register is well before the deadline for the candidates to announce.   It would be a shame for an individual not to register and then find that someone is running they truly believe in. 

          You can make a last minute decision on whether you are going to vote or not right up until the polls close on election day.  But only if you are registered. 

          I would suggest that everyone eligible gives themselves that option by registering prior to the deadline the 2nd of Jan.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Wow…..18,000……….out of an island population of over 40,000.

    • Anonymous says:

      …of which 20,000 are on work permits and the rest are children who are not eligible to vote. That is pretty good I'd say.  

      • Anon says:

        So….let me get this right.  You are happy with less than half of the residents of Cayman being eligable to vote?

        The other half….the inferior ones in your mind…their views, their opinion about the regime here mean nothing? Their views are worthless? They have to live with the same decisions and choices as everyone else – their "tax" dollars are the same as everyone elses. In my mind – this is a shocking FAILURE that less than half of the population are eligable to vote.

        Jersey? – 2.5 years residency gives you the right to vote – PERIOD – whoevery you are and whereever you are from.

         

        • Anonymous says:

          It has nothing to do with inferiority. They are not entitled to vote either because they are not citizens or they are children. Capiche?   The right to vote has nothing to do with paying taxes. That is the standard around the world by the way. It applies in Canada, the U.S. and Australia, for example. There is no "shocking failure" at all so quit the melodrama.

          Jersey can do what it pleases but that doesn't create an international norm or a human right.  

        • Anonymous says:

          That's pretty crazy giving work permit holders voting rights. Why would any sane country do that? Those people are short termers. They think short term. They are here for the quick grab and you would just hand over the country to them? You must be on crack.

          • Anonymous says:

            Studies have shown that voters that determine who they vote for on purely short term grounds tend to electe candidates who are more effective in the long term than voters who focus on long term issues.  Life is funny like that.

        • Anonymous says:

          Jersey also have 52 elected reps. Would you like to follow them with that too? 

        • Anonymous says:

          They pay income taxes there.  Pay yours in Cayman and then get your right to vote.