Elections office urges public to become voters

| 20/11/2012

vote here 2.jpg(CNS): As the clock ticks on the deadline of 2 January for those who are eligible to become voters to register on the electoral role ahead of the May 2013 general election, officials urged people to come out and sign up before it’s too late. The Elections Office said, this week, that whilst applications for registration will continue to be accepted in the six electoral districts and at the Elections Office on Smith Road until 2 January next year the weekend supermarket service will close on 1 December. The general election is set for 22 May and is now just six months away and while as many as 25,000 people are believed to be eligible to vote at present the electoral register contains less than 16,000 voters.

All prospective electors who are qualified and be will 18 years old on or before the 22 May can submit applications. The writs of elections will be served on 12 December which will define the electoral landscape for the next national ballot which is still expected to be six seats in George Town, four in West Bay, Four in Bodden Town, two in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman and one in both East End and North Side.

The elections office said that those people who have already registered need not re-register but voters who have changed their names, addresses or occupation must complete Form 13 and submit it to the registering officer in the district where they now live.
“While the Elections Office is doing its utmost to accommodate those individuals who are not registered it should be noted that the onus is on the individual, not the registering officer to get registered,” officials stated.  “The process is quite simple and time is now of the essence.  Being able to exercise ones franchise to vote, whether at an election or referendum, is a key tenet of a democracy.’

Speaking at a recent briefing regarding the campaign to get people registered, the supervisor of elections Kearney Gomez pointed out how important registering to vote is.
“The right to vote is a great equalizer,’ the elections boss said. “Your vote matters just as much as the next persons. However, in order to vote you must first be registered.  If you are not registered to vote by 2 January you will not have another chance and you will not be able to vote in the May General election.”

The cut-off point under the elections law, which is there to ensure that all newly registered voters can be verified as qualified before the register is updated and open to public scrutiny caught out a number of people ahead of this summer’s referendum on one man, one vote and left many people disenfranchised in what was a significant national poll. Since then local activists and campaigners have been joining forces with the elections office to emphasise the need to register even if potential voters don’t think they will be exercising their vote.

Kenneth Bryan one of the group that has been co-ordinating the Grasp Your Future campaign to get as many of the suspected 10,000 qualified voters on to the electoral register as possible before 2 January pointed out that registering to vote does not mean electors are compelled to go to the polls on election day.
“Many people right now probably have no idea who they would vote for or even think they want to vote at all but as the election draws nearer and they begin to take an interest in what is going on it will be too late by then. Once again potential voters will be caught out if they don’t get their names down now,” he said, as he pointed out the need to learn the lesson from the referendum.

Urging people to call the campaign group numbers 928-vote or 328-vote (8683) to get help with registering Bryan said just because people feel as though they are not interested now if they don’t register before 2 January they may regret it when it’s too late.
“You lose nothing by registering but gain one of the most import tools in a democracy when you do. It’s a tool that you can choose to use or not once you have it but if you don’t have it then you can’t use it,” he added.

For more details visit www.electionsoffice.ky
 

 

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Comments (5)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I wouldn't leave it to Jan 2, since the CIG effectively shutters from Mid Dec til January.  Best to plan to register before Dec 21st if you want to get ahed of the ball and be on the list.  That means less than a month to go people!

  2. Anonymous says:

    For me to vote I would need someone I would vote for.

    • Anonymous says:

      The article is about getting registered to vote, not actually voting. You cannot vote if you do find a candidate you deem worthy of your vote if you aren't registered.

  3. Anonymous says:

    But no one has told me if I’m getting a kenmore or whirlpool fridge yet

  4. Anonymous says:

    To register to vote you no longer need to be naturalised, you just need to have Caymanian Status by birthright or grant.