Voting system delayed count

| 23/05/2013

ballot boxes.JPG(CNS): The outgoing supervisor of elections pointed to the multi-member voting system, in the capital in particular, as the reason for such a long delay in the announcements of the final results of the 22 May General Election on Thursday morning. Kearney Gomez said that the count in George Town, which began on time, took so long due to a combination of the number of voters in the capital, the number of candidates running and, above all, the number of votes on each of the ballots. Although the polls closed on time and there were no recounts or disputes over any of the results, the physical act of tallying up so many ballots with multiple votes on them saw the count drag on until around 8am, some 11 hours after it started.

Pleased, however, that there were far less spoiled ballot papers, which Gomez said was down to the efforts of the local media to inform voters how to vote, but the count took much longer than would have been the case under a one man, one vote and single member constituency system.

“If we had implemented one man, one vote for this election, we would have all been in bed at 9:30pm,” Gomez said in the early hours of Thursday morning at the command centre as the count dragged on. “The difficulty was the need to tally six votes on each and every ballot, which had to be cross checked with the tallies of candidates' agents.”

The last box to be counted was from the Prospect area, which kept everyone waiting on the final result because, while all indications were that the PPM had won enough seats in George Town, the battle for the sixth seat was still very close. Before the final box was tallied, the UDP’s Mike Adam was still in with an outside chance of stealing the seat from the Progressives, which could have triggered the need for bargains and backroom deals in order for a government to be formed. This could have resulted in instability at a time of near political crisis for Cayman, given the continued questions raised not just about the former premier but many of his original political colleagues in the last UDP administration.

Despite the delay in the result and the marathon count, the election process went very smoothly, even with a tight budget and some problems with the lack of air-conditioning at one polling station in West Bay, where the church building in use was under construction and therefore had no electricity.

Gomez said there were no recounts as all the counters and the relevant candidate representatives had consistently agreed their running totals at frequent intervals, despite the close call for the fourth seat in Bodden Town, where just 41 votes separated the PPM’s Al Suckoo from Theresa Pitcairn of the UDP, and the 51 votes that separated the Progressive’s Joey Hew from Mike Adam ( UDP) for the sixth seat inGeorge Town.

The supervisor of elections, who has now retired after thirty years running local elections, ended on a marathon poll and offered his support for the concept of one man, one vote, which the new PPM administration has committed to implement in its first year in office.

Following the count, Gomez thanked the many people involved in the election process, including the electors, candidates and agents as well as the election workers, support staff and the media. 

The winning candidates were as follows:

West Bay: 3,349 ballots

  1. McKeeva Bush – 1,583 votes
  2. Tara Rivers – 1,483 votes
  3. Bernie Bush – 1,460 votes
  4. Capt. Eugene Ebanks – 1,307 votes

George Town: 5,828 ballots

  1. Kurt Tibbetts – 2,470 votes
  2. Roy McTaggart – 2,160 votes
  3. Alden McLaughlin – 2,145 votes
  4. Marco Archer – 2,085 votes
  5. Winston Connolly – 2,039 votes
  6. Joey Hew – 1,940 votes

Bodden Town: 3,593 ballots

  1. Anthony Eden – 1,781 votes
  2. Osbourne Bodden – 1,615 votes
  3. Wayne Panton – 1,571 votes
  4. Alva Suckoo – 1,393 votes

North Side: 465 ballots

  1. Ezzard Miller – 326 votes

East End: 554 ballots

  1. Arden McLean – 317 votes

Cayman Brac and Little Cayman: 835 ballots

  1. Moses Kirkconnell – 628 votes
  2. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly – 461 votes

The final figures for all candidates, as well as supporting documentation on the process, are posted on the elections website.

Full election results below.

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Comments (9)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I was very impressed with how quickly the results came in, and with the high tech interface (and ipad app) that refreshed every few seconds.  A few hours to count votes properly is time well-spent.  

  2. Anonymous says:

    So what?  I am a OMOV supporter, but a few hours means nothing.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I think they did a great job and congrats to all involved, oh and thank you to those who gave up their day and night to get us the results.

    Now I do not mind if the head of the elections office host a party as a thank you to you all, please feel free to spend some of our funds…

    Thanks again.

  4. Anonymous says:

    We MUST have One Person One Vote implemented as soon as possible.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Wasn’t that long……we all knew by mid morning.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you are up all night after a long day of work as the officials were, it would seem like a long time.

      • Anonymous says:

        We would like to congratulate the UDP who gathered so many votes despite so muvh opposition. Also Bo Bo and even Dr Frank who ran without funds still shows that he has 200 or more people who personally supports him and realizes that he should be treated for what he is rather than all this stupidness. We only can hope that the PPM who is smart will utilize his honest skill and place him in Social Services where he so honestly served before.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree, the Supervisor of Elections and all of the Election Officers deserve a big vote of thanks from all of us for their hard word over so many hours. I was told that many of them were working for almost 30 hours straight to deliver to us! Thank you all on a splendid job!