Last day for new voters

| 02/01/2013

vote here 2_2.jpg(CNS): As the Cayman Islands faces what is likely to be a volatile election campaign ahead of the May General Election, Wednesday is the last day for qualified people to register to become voters in time for the nationwide poll. The Elections Office in Smith Road, George Town, is open until midnight tonight to give everyone who is entitled to become an elector the opportunity to do so. Supervisor of Elections Kearney Gomez urged everyone to add their names to the list to ensure that when the election comes around they will not be disenfranchised. With well over 16,000 people now on the voters' list, the office is still hoping more people will add their names before the midnight deadline.

The register is updated on a quarterly basis following the process that the office mustgo through to publish the new voters' names and addresses and verify their qualification to vote, as well as allowing existing voters the opportunity to object. 2 January is the last day for the quarter ahead of the election. The full new list will be updated and published on 22 January and existing registered voters will have until 12 February to file any objections.

The Legislative Assembly will be dissolved by the governor on 26 March ahead of nomination day on 27 March, when those running for office will formally declare their intentions before the campaign begins in earnest.

Following the collapse of McKeeva Bush’s UDP government in December in the wake of his arrest on suspicion of theft and offences under the anti-corruption law, his former five colleagues reformed a minority government headed by Juliana O’Connor-Connolly. With all of the new government holding Cabinet posts and no backbenchers, the government will only be able to limp on until March with the support of the opposition and former colleagues.

Given the divide that now exists among all local politicians, the outcome of the next general election has been thrown wide open, creating what many now believe will be even greater interest than ever in the vote and hopefully encourage more people to register.

Speaking about the importance of taking part in the democratic process, Gomez said there were no good reasons for people not to register given the efforts made by his office and other campaign and activist groups in recent weeks.

“Your vote matters just as much as the next person's but in order to vote you must be registered and this is your last chance,” Gomez said, as he urged everyone who believes they are qualified to come to the office today before midnight.

People with Caymanian status no longer need to be naturalized, opening the door for many more people to join the voters' list and to take part in what will be an historic election on Wednesday 22 May, when voters in the capital will have six votes to cast for an increased parliament of 18 members. Voters in Bodden Town will be casting four votes for the first time, the same number as voters in West Bay, while those on the Sister Islands will have two and those in East End and North Side just one.

For more details visit the elections office website here or call 949 8047.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I have decided not to vote because this flavour of democracy stinks.

    There is no way I am going to give a few people unbridaled power over me until I get  so disgruntled I need to replace them them with equally odious individuals.

    Be assured, we will be watching you, politicians. We will search you out, dig into your business connections and expose you. We are many and you are few. Oh and watch out for those land deals in Costa Rica.

    • Anonymous says:

      When you forfeit your right to vote (rather than spoiling your ballot) you also forfeit your right to complain about how things are.