33% of Cayman population can now vote

| 07/01/2013

ballot box hand.jpg(CNS): Around one third of the local population is now entitled to vote after a last minute surge in registration during the last quarter of 2012. This means that the largest percentage of the population for more than two decades could, if they choose, go the polls this May. The Elections Office has confirmed that the register now stands at 18,153 voters, matching predicted estimates by election officials made last year. On the last day of the voter registration drive before the register closed at midnight on 2 January, well over 900 people turned up at the Smith Road office in George Town to get their names on the list and seize the opportunity to vote in what is likely to be one of Cayman’s most important elections.

Although the office is yet to finalize the full list of voters, Colford Scott confirmed that 2,384 new names were added to the list over the last quarter of 2012. The new voters were predominately from the districts of George Town, where voterswill have six ballots in the general election, and Bodden Town, which will have four, and where the election is likely to be won or lost.

The register is now closed and will be open for scrutiny in the next few weeks by existing electors before the voters' list for the election is finalized.

With a large expatriate population of workers, historically there has been a disproportionately low number of residents in Cayman able to vote compared to other democracies, with less than a quarter of the adult population in some elections being entitled to vote. However, the removal of the requirement to be a naturalized British Overseas Territories citizen in addition to having Caymanian status, plus a promotion by local activists and the Elections Office encouraged new voters to register. The number of voters able to go to the polls in 2013 will be around 20% higher than the number of registered electors in 2009.

With the register closed, the next significant date on the elections calendar and the countdown to the general election on 22 May is the candidates' Nomination Day, when the full list of those entering the political fray will be revealed. Nomination Day is on 27 March, the day after the dissolution of parliament by the governor on 26 March. 

However, it is anticipated that the election battle will begin long before, with many candidates declaring their hand over the next few weeks. Sources also say that the Coalition for Cayman, which is still not defining itself as a political party, will be endorsing its first group of candidates for George Town in a matter of days, throwing the definition of independent candidates into question.

Meanwhile, the PPM has already revealed its team, with just two question marks hanging over seats in West Bay.

Speaking on behalf of the UDP, still led by former premier McKeeva Bush, MLA Ellio Solomon said the party would be running four candidates in West Bay, four in Bodden Town and six in George Town, though with the exception of himself, Mike Adam, McKeeva Bush and Captain Eugene Ebanks, who the other ten candidates will be remains open to wide speculation.

Although the former UDP five, who are now holding a minority government, have also indicated they all intend to run for office in 2013, whether they will return to the UDP ranks or run as independents, with or without the C4C endorsement, is also a matter of conjecture.

MLAs Arden McLean and Ezzard Miller have both confirmed their intention to seek re-election in their respective districts of East End and North Side as independent members, and former UDP Cabinet member Frank McField will also be taking to the hustings as an independent in George Town.

For more details on the election visit www.electionsoffice.ky

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Category: Politics

Comments (12)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The voting system needs to be changed!  Such a small number of people in the overall population of Cayman (Caymanians, Status Holders, Residents) gets to decide the fate of the country.  Whether you were born here or given the oppertunity to live here, the political picture affects us all.  I think that for such a small country, more people need to have a voice in deciding the government and who "we" think is best to run it for the next 4 years.  In addition to the one man/one vote therory, I think voters should be given a point system in which to vote for their respective candidates.  The more routed you are in being Caymanian, the more points you carry.  So when you vote for a candidate the points you carry goes towards their total tally and hence the once with the most points win.  Here is what I suggest…

    If you are:

    (1) Born and bred Caymanian – 5 points

    (2) Status Holder – 4 points

    (3) Naturalised Caymanian – 3 points

    (4) Permanent Resident – 2 points

    (5) Legally resident for 7 years or more – 1 point

     

    This still ensures that due to the Caymanians carring the most points, the runners would and should still see the need to make sure that what they do and say is more important to the Caymanians, and the Caymanians together still have a majority say in deciding the government.

     

    Just my 2 cents….

    • Anonymous says:

      I am sorry but that is ridiculous and would only give way to accusations of discrimination. We have just widened the voter base. If you are a Caymanian (including holder of status) you can vote. There is no reason why anyone else should be able to vote in Cayman.

    • Shovel and Pick says:

      So what you want is:

      1) Pure multi-generational wizards 5 votes

      2) Other sufficient pure blooded wizards 4 votes.

      3) Wizards with a bit of muggle blood in them 3 votes (Yes, I know we all mean "mudblood" but we are not allowed to say that anymore, Ministry of Magic orders).

      4) Muggles who have graduated from Hogwarts 2 votes

      5) Other muggles with magic abilities 1 vote.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hope the new voters exercise this privilege for the best qualified candidates- a bit better thn Caymanians have in the past:

    McKeeva is the longest serving member of te LA but has not a smidgen of finesse, diplomacy, statesmanship or class.

    The 2009 constitution -which the voters supported blindly like sheep the PPPM party line- is badly drafted and has numerous holes as a result of political compromise – it will continue to confuse and frustrate everyone

    • Anonymous says:

      If people were blindly following the PPM in voting for the Constitution they would have voted the PPM back into office. The Constitution does need some work, but that is fine. It is not set in stone.

  3. Dennis Smith says:

    OK. So I'm a little confused. If there are about 30,000 Caymanians and some 20,000+ work permit holders and a few non-Caymanian residents and non-Caymanian children here that means that 18K out of 30K Caymanians are registered, Since some of the 30K Caymanians must be under 18 years-old does that mean that 75% of the eligible voting population has now registered? Can somebody actually give us a real figure instead of using this 33% of the entire resident population? I would like to know if most of the Caymanians who can vote are already registered?

    • Anonymous says:

      They gave you the 33% now foolie go do the math.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for making that point, Dennis. The 33% is just there to suggest that it is not true demoocracy because they are not the majority, which is of course rubbish.  

    • Anonymous says:

      The 2010 Census shows that there were 23,311 Caymanians aged 15 and older. It doesn't beak down the age groups more than that to get 18+ only, and the data was also gathered 2 years ago. However, it could be a decent approximation if you round down for people who have died, are still 17, or have moved and lost their residency requirement to vote and then round up for people who have gotten status or moved back to Cayman. So maybe about 20,000 people are eligible to vote?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Yeaaah – thanks to the expat status grants!

    Ever since then I've said the only time Cayman's politics will evolve past the 'village chief' mentality is when others with more advanced democratic experiences settle here.

    Not any criticism of our young country, just simple societal evolution.

    Of course here are other costs to pay for the status grants (eg the never ending domino effect of social needs, adoptions of extended chindren into the Caymanian family etc) , and he dilution of our culture, but yes, the voter base is growing.

    And Yes – I'm a born n bred Caymanian!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yep! born n bred Caymanian!! – thanks to the expat status grants!
      Ever since then I've said the only time Cayman's politics will evolve past the 'village chief' mentality is when others with more advanced democratic experiences settle here.
      Not any criticism of our young country, just simple societal evolution.  Very soon you will curse the day and damn the hour which I hope will come sooner than later for you.