August 4, 2020

Cayman Islands General Elections progress update

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Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 1.39.36 PM From The Cayman Islands

George Town, Cayman Islands, 2016 – The Elections Office continues preparations for under the 19 single member electoral districts system in the areas of legislative amendment recommendations, voter registration, voter education, allocation of voters to single member districts and staffing and logistical resourcing for the elections.

Legislative Amendment recommendations
The 19 Single Member Electoral Districts Boundaries Order of 2015, published in the Gazette in November 2015, comes into effect automatically when the full is next dissolved. Under this system, each voter on the list of Registered Electors will be able to vote for one candidate in the Electoral District in which the voter is registered.

The Elections Office has been working to compile the necessary changes to the Elections law, to bring the law in line with the 19 Single Member Electoral Districts Boundaries Order. The initial recommendations for legislative amendments have been presented to the Cayman Islands Government Caucus and are expected to be considered by Cabinet in early March for consideration and approval. This will allow legislative drafting to prepare draft amendments to the law. The bill containing those changes to the Elections Law will then be published in the usual way and debated in the Legislative Assembly. It is anticipated that the Legislative Assembly will pass the amendments before July of this year.

Voter Registration Drives
Voter registration is open year round, and the Elections Office is carrying out special registration drives, the first of which includes the registration drives at the agricultural shows on all three Cayman Islands. Voters can register any time by downloading forms from the Elections Office website www.electionsoffice.ky or can call 949-8047 for more information.

Readiness of Personnel, Financial and Other Resources
General Elections preparations are ongoing. Staff levels are being ‘ramped up’ for elections training, logistics and various assignments in advance of the General Election. The Elections Office has access to a range of staff with previous experience and knowledge in delivering elections – from returning officers to field clerks. These experienced staff members will be supplemented by new staff members to fill any additional staffing needs. This arrangement allows the Elections Office to meet the constitutional requirements to deliver fair elections, whether general elections (even one called early) or a by-election. It is planned that some 350 staff members will be at work on Elections Day to ensure free and fair elections with credible returns.

The majority of the expenditure for conducting General Elections is spent during the three months leading up to the elections. A submission for the funds necessary to hold the General Elections has been included in the 2016/2017 Budget cycle which starts on 1 July 2016. If an early General Election is called during this budget year, supplementary budget appropriations will be requested from the current budget to meet the constitutional requirements of delivering General Elections.

Boundaries of the 19 Single Member Electoral districts
The 19 Single Member Electoral Districts Boundaries recommended by the 2015 Electoral Boundary Commission () has many similarities with the constituency boundaries recommended by the previous EBCs. In an attempt to balance the number of electors within each boundary, the 2015 recommended changes to the existing boundaries. The major changes in the 2015 recommendations were to create one new boundary in the western part of Bodden Town (BT) and one new boundary in the eastern part of George Town (GT). This minimises the changes to boundaries in the existing list of registered electors.

Check the list, register and update your information
A sudden By-Election or a snap General Election will not offer any time for last minute voter registration, thus only persons already on the Official List of Electors (voters list) will be able to vote. The Elections Office is therefore encouraging persons to register now. Voters who are already on the voters list should check the list and ensure that their information is up to date, especially the addresses of individual electors. The voters list can be found on the Elections Office website and is also available at Post Offices on all three islands.

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