Wednesday 17 July, 2019

Elections Office Receives People Initiated Referendum Petition

The Cayman Islands Elections Office has met with the Cruise Port Referendum group to officially accept the People Initiated Referendum petition signatures. 

The handover took place outside of the Election Office. Elections Office Supervisor, Wesley Howell, along with Deputy Supervisors Suzanne Bothwell and Sheena Glasgow, were given the documents by leaders with the Cruise Port Referendum group.

Head of the Governor’s Office, Matthew Forbes, was also present to accept a copy of the documents on behalf of the Governor. 

The Elections Office staff will now analyse and collate the names of petitions and conduct an independent verification of the document’s signatures. The door to door process will commence in approximately two weeks, however persons are able to immediately visit the Elections Office to complete the verification process during regular office hours. 

Over the next two weeks, the Elections Office will review the petition and organise the signatures based on districts and households; as well as ensure on-boarded staff members are adequately trained to carry out the official process.

Various methods will be used to confirm that the level of signatures meets or exceeds the required 25% (5,289) of persons registered as electors (21,155) in accordance with Section 90 of the Constitution. 

Pursuant to the Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009, the first step in the verification process is to ensure the provided referendum signatures correspond with the current electoral register. Manual checks with petitioners will also be conducted by Elections Office officials to ensure signature validity. 

As part of the aim to ensure the procedure is as fair, transparent and efficient as possible, relevant persons are encouraged to contact the Elections Office to assist in the verification of the signatures. Petition signers visit the Elections Office during regular office hours with their voter ID card or any other form of official identification, to verify in person to confirm their signature. Extended opening hours will be announced later. 

Elections Office staff members will also make themselves available at various public locations throughout the Island. Details around this will be made public once finalised. Wesley Howell strongly urges all electors who signed the petition to ensure their correct place of residence is registered with the Elections Office. 

“Under the law, all persons must maintain updated registration details with the Elections Office,” he explained. “With this referendum process, and an upcoming election year, it is vital that these details are kept accurate.” Mr. Howell concluded: “As we move forward, the Elections Office is fully committed to ensuring this process is as fair, accurate and transparent as possible. We will work expeditiously to conclude this verification process.” 

The Elections Office is located on the second floor of Smith Road Centre in George Town, and can be contacted at (345) 949-8047 or by email at office@elections.ky. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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