December 10, 2019

Cayman: Registering for Postal and Mobile Voting

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In the Cayman Islands, postal ballots provide a means for individuals who are unable to attend the polling station on the day in person to vote. The 2009 Elections Law introduced mobile voting to allow persons to vote at mobile polling locations, homes or other places such as nursing homes and hospitals should they wish to do so.

As drafted, the Referendum (People-Initiated Referendum Regarding the Port) Bill, 2019 maintains provisions for mobile voting. It also enhances the option of postal voting by adding the flexibility for the Elections Office to use commercial trackable courier services.

Postal ballets

The draft bill permits the Elections Office to send postal ballots to persons overseas by commercial courier, so these ballots can be delivered within 2-3 business days after the ballots are issued by the Returning Officer. The following individuals qualify for postal ballots.

1.    Voters who are already registered on the Official Register of Electors and are living off-island, such as students and persons away for medical care.

a.    These overseas postal ballots will be sent via express courier as soon as the Referendum Law is gazetted. We expect the first issue of ballots will be sent during the week of 5 – 8 November 2019.

2.    Voters on the Official Register of Electors who are living in the Cayman Islands but will be travelling off-island or will be off-island on Referendum day (19 December).

a.    These voters can apply for a postal ballot as soon as they have purchased airline tickets showing that they will be away on Referendum Day. 

b.    These ballot papers will be delivered by local courier and should arrive within 2-3 business days. In the case of ballots being delivered to voters who are on-island, the completed ballots can be sealed and returned to the Returning Officer of the Elections Office by hand or local courier.

Postal ballot applications are now being accepted by the Elections Office. The deadline for postal ballot applications is 7 December 2019.

Those wishing to apply for postal ballots are required to provide the following information to the Elections Office.

1.    Completed Form B (available at www.elections.ky or at the Elections Office at 150 Smith Road Centre)

2.    Photo identification (e.g. voter ID card or passport)

3.    IF RESIDENT ON THE ISLANDS BUT WILL BE AWAY FOR REFERENDUM DAY – A copy of purchased airline tickets showing the individual will be travelling or off-island on Referendum Day.

a.    Clearly print the local street address for ballots to be delivered locally.

b.    Please note, only purchased tickets will be accepted. Reservations that have not been paid for in full do not qualify.

1.    IF CURRENTLY AWAY AND WILL BE AWAY FOR REFERENDUM DAY – Clearly print the full overseas address for postal ballot to be sent to.           

Mobile voting

In cases where a registered voter on the Official Register of Electors is unable or unlikely to be able to go in person to the polling station, that voter can request mobile voting. Postal ballots are not permitted for persons who will be physically in the Cayman Islands on Referendum Day.

The following individuals qualify for mobile voting.

1.    Those who are or are likely to be in a hospital, rest home or other similar institution on Referendum Day or because they are a geriatric at home.

2.    Those who are blind or have any other physical incapacity and are unable to go in person to the polling station or unable to go unaided.

3.    Those who are unable to go in person to the polling station because of the general nature of his occupation, service or employment.

4.    Persons working during Referendum Day (e.g. polling staff, police, medical personnel etc.) may vote early by applying for mobile voting and casting their vote at a mobile voting station on a prescribed day during the week before the referendum.

In cases where the Registering Officer approves mobile voting, mobile teams will consist of an Elections Office presiding officer, poll clerk, logistic officers, police officer and appointed observers. 

The mobile voting teams will visit persons during the week before the referendum (10 to 13 December 2019) to allow the individual to vote at their nominated location.

Those wishing to apply for mobile voting are required to provide the following information to the Elections Office.

4.    Completed Form C (available at www.elections.ky or at the Elections Office at 150 Smith Road Centre), setting out the reasons mobile voting is being requested

1.    Photo identification (e.g. voter ID card or passport)

Application forms for postal voting (Form B) and mobile voting (Form C) are available online fromhttp://www.elections.ky or can also be collected in person from the Elections Office at 150 Smith Road Centre.

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