Voters have one last chance

| 22/01/2013

vote here 2_0.jpg(CNS): The largest campaign that Cayman has ever seen to get people onto the voters' register in time for the next general election will end at midnight tonight, when the re-opened window of opportunity closes for the final time. Election officials said this is the last chance because the need to verify new voters before polling day will not allow for any further extensions. Anyone who is qualified to vote but who has not yet registered has until midnight to go the office on Smith Road and add their name to the list. New voters on the Brac should go to Brac Executive Services, where Ellen Lazzari, the registering officer for the district, will also be registering voters until midnight. 

Although the register had closed on 2 January, the governor agreed to a request by the premier, supported by the other MLAs, for an extension until tonight.

With the Christmas and New Year holidays falling close to the end of the official registration period for this quarter, several eligible voters were unable to collect the necessary documents and make it to the office before the deadline. The extended window of opportunity means that any voter who registered after 2 January will now be added to the election list. Anyone who has moved districts must also let the office know before the midnight deadline which district they now reside in if they wish to vote in what is likely to be one of the islands’ most historic elections.

During the final surge on 2 January several hundred people registered and pushed the list to well over 18,000 names. Officials hope that the extra time will see a few more hundred names added to the list, which already represents the largest percentage of voters to population for many years.

As Caymanians no longer need to be naturalized British citizens before they can register to vote, a major barrier was removed and has enfranchised a significant number of people for the forthcoming election. Despite this, it is believed that there are still several thousand people who are entitled to become electors that have still chosen note to register.

A significant number of people and local activists across the political spectrum, as well as the Elections Office itself, have been engaged in a full scale campaign to try and encourage as many of those people as possible to place themselves in a position to vote on election day. Even if they exercise their democratic right not to vote on the day of the poll, the goal has been to ensure all those that are qualified have a choice.

With six seats now available in George Town, for the first time voters in the capital will have more votes than electors in the district of West Bay, which still has four seats, as does with the expanding district of Bodden Town, which now has one more seat than in previous elections.

In light of events in December, which saw the former premier, McKeeva Bush, ousted from office by five of his former UDP colleagues in collaboration with the opposition, and in the wake of Bush’s arrest on suspicion of theft and offences under the anti-corruption law, the political landscape for this election has changed significantly.

While George Town and Bodden Town will remain the key areas where the election is likely to be won and lost, the split between Bush, who remains the leader of the now divided UDP, and thecurrent minority Cabinet has also thrown the district of West Bay open to question.

Despite his circumstances, Bush still commands significant support in his home district but it remains to be seen whether he can continue to carry all three candidates running with him to the LA while two of his his former district colleagues, Rolston Anglin and Cline Glidden, now plan to run against him. The split in the formerly solid UDP vote in the district has created the most significant opportunity for several elections for an opposition or independent candidate to pick up at least one of the four seats in Bush’s own constituency.

Once the register closes this evening, there are just two months to go until the current Legislative Assembly is prorogued on 26 March. Nomination day on 27 March, when the field of candidates across all six districts will declare their hands in what is likely to be a tough campaign with an anticipated record number of people battling it out for the 18 legislative seats in perhaps the last election in which some voters have multiple votes.

Visit the Elections Office website to find out more about the registration process. 

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Category: Politics

Comments (21)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I registered at 23:07 yesterday…53 minutes before the deadline and cars were still pulling in! 

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am entitled to vote and I have anguished over this decision. I have decided NOT to register and hopefully, I can convey the reasons why.

    1. I would like to know that once I have chosen my representative, he/she chooses to engage me AFTER occupying the seat in the Legislative Assembly. How hard can this be? Bring the issue to the people that asked you to represent them and then vote the majority. Is this not democracy?

    I suppose I have lost most politicians here, but I will press on regardless.

    1.  I want you to declare every businessinterest that you have, especially those that involve the government. If you own a business that provides services that the government requires, I would like to know that transparency has existed in you getting the contract. Hello!
    2. I want to know if you belong to a secret society. I hereby inform the Caymanian public that a secret society exists in Cayman. It is known as the “Lodge”. Its members have pledged allegiance to an agenda designed to rob Cayman of its identity.  In doing so, they stand to profit. I have asked questions about them and been personally threatened in regards to my own safety. But if they kill my body, what can they do to my soul?
    3. Let’s talk about the dump. What a stench and what an indictment on Cayman’s leaders. The stench testifies to the corrupt governments that have presided over its growth. I walk in town on cruise ship day and see our ‘guests’ complaining over the assault on their nostrils.
    4. Our BILLION dollar debt. Our ‘Leaders’ have led us into owing foreign bankers over 1 BILLION dollars. As they have feathered their own nests, they have let you fall into a pit of debt.  If any politician stands up, let him/her address this problem.

    Now I want to talk to the “smart” people of this island. I will call you out because I put my name to this article. Tim Ridley, what say you sir? How about you, Duncan Taylor. Is silence your weapon? Moses Kirkconnell, do you have a plan that we can follow? Julianna, what would you say? Attorney General, how about you? Chief Justice, Anthony Smellie, how would you contribute to the resurgence of Cayman?  Business leaders of Cayman that employ foreigners over the Caymanian people. Why?

    Ezzard, Arden you have had plenty of time. Help us, please.

    I am a proud Caymanian. I am David Shibli Snr. If God would kiss this planet, his lips would touch Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your concerns make perfect sense, but it's hard to see why they have lead you not to register.

      • Anonymous says:

        If I register, I would endorse a system that has corrupt individuals as its leaders. That is why I did NOT register.

    • Len Layman says:

      You should register anyways. You can always choose later not to exercise your vote.  But if at the last moment you were to find a candidate running that you believed in, you could then choose to vote. 

      It is more meaningful to register and choose not to, than not to register.

      Just because you are registered does not mean you have to vote but it does mean you can if you should choose.

      • Anonymous says:

        Len, you raise a vaild point.  I really respect you for putting your name to your response. I wasn't trying to draw attention to the fact that I wasn't regestering, but alas, this is what has transpired. My bad.

        I would just point everyone to my questions. They are far more important than whether I have registered or not. I would even challenge the names that I have called out to answer my concerns. Unfortunately, I am sure that  they are too important and too busy, but they are out there nevertheless.

        God bless you.

        David

    • Anonymous says:

      If you don't vote, how are you going to get people to listen to your questions?

    • Anonymous says:

      Those are all good points but they do not either individually or collectively provide a sound reason for failing to register to vote. Obviously you don't know who will declare as candidates between now and the elections. You could always have made the decision on the day not to vote.  

    • Anonymous says:

      My dear Sir – so don't register and don't vote – the only one you are disenfranchising is yourself. You don't have to vote if you are registered but you sure cannot vote if you are not registered. Oh my what a shame if one of those that you have called out give you the answers that you are seeking – and your are not registered – oh my then you will not be able to vote.

      • Anonymous says:

        The whole country is already disenfranchised. Read point 1 again. Cheers.

    • Bob Moseley says:

      If you are entitled to vote and purposely choose not to register and exercise that right then you have no right to complain about the actions of those elected and the way the country is governed. Voting is a right, a privilege, and the duty of every eligible citizen. Get registered and VOTE!

    • Anonymous says:

      Sir, your comments are reasonable, your concerns are valid, and your point is well put. But, that is what a vote is for, it is your chance to make a difference, it is true that this works better with one man one vote, but without the votes of good people, even that will not change. Too late this time, but really, you should register to ensure you get the Government you do deserve, not the one one you got!

      • Anonymous says:

        Please read my concerns again. You will see that a corrupt "democracy" cannot address my concerns and that is why I did not register. In registering I would affiliate myself with a corrupt system.

        Thanks for your input.

        David

         

        • Anonymous says:

          So what you are saying is you are not willing to be part of the solution!  If you opt out of doing so you are part of the problem!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      People, read this man's questions. No one has had the courage to address even one of his beefs. You just keep bellyaching about his one vote. READ THE QUESTIONS!!!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Can you post what the requirements to register are for people who became Caymanian by Naturalization and hold a Cayman passport?

     

    CNS: I've added the relevant link to the article.

    • Anonymous says:

      You do not become Caymanian by Naturalization you become a British Overseas Territory Citizen. To become Caymanian you need to hold Caymanian Status. A Cayman passport does not mean you are Caymanian.

       

    • Anonymous says:

      Nobody has ever become Caymanian through Naturalisation.  If you were present at the ceremony you will recall that you were Naturalised as a British Overseas Territories Person by the Deputy Governor.  Even though you may carry a BOTC passport and reside here, you would not automatically be conferred with Caymanian Status and a right to vote, although you are on the right path.  One must apply for CI Status separately once you have put in the time to qualify.  Once they have a complete application, it takes months and another fee must be paid.  See Immigration website for info. 

    • Anonymous says:

      You need a photo ID, eg: passport, drivers licence etc…. and the original or certified copies of:

      Grant of Caymanian Status certificate

      Birth certificate