The way a candidate’s name appears on the nomination form is the way it will appear on the 11 May General Election ballot.
Wednesday is Nomination Day.
Many people have already declared their intention to stand for office. But 16 March is the day candidates become official.
Deputy Supervisors of Elections Orrett Connor and Colford Scott recently described the most important aspects of the nominating process.
On Nomination Day, between 8am and 3pm, Returning Officers for each district will accept nominations from all qualified candidates.
‘What is important,’ Mr. Connor said, ‘is that those persons who are seeking nomination are to ensure that they are qualified, based on conditions set out in the Cayman Islands Constitution Order.
‘The Returning Officers may also ask questions to ensure that they are exercising due diligence in clarifying the person’s qualifications, such as citizenship. But the onus is on the person being nominated and the persons nominating him or her.’
Mr. Scott reminded everyone that nominators must be registered voters in the district for which they nominate someone. The candidate does not need to be from that district.
In fact, candidates need not even be present. West Bay MLA McKeeva Bush has announced, for example, that he will be off-island in his role as Leader of Government Business and Minister for Tourism, Environment, Development and Commerce.
Mr. Bush is an example of a candidate’s name appearing on the ballot as it appears on the nomination form. His full name is William M. Bush, although he is known publicly by his middle name, McKeeva.
All nominees must pay a CI$1,000 deposit. Any candidate who then withdraws at least 10 clear days before Election Day will get the deposit back. Candidates may withdraw only by notifying their Returning Officer.
Immediately after nominations are confirmed, production of ballot papers begins.
Within seven days, the first postal ballots will be sent.
Election officials have reminded voters to apply early if they want a postal ballot.
Issuing postal ballots is intended as a transparent process, much like Election Day. Just as candidates’ agents may be present at polling stations, so candidates’ agents may attend the issue of postal ballots.
Nomination of candidates is a public process. The public may attend.
Venues and Returning Officers:
West Bay: Mr. Delano Solomon, the Courtyard Marriott conference room
George Town: Mr. Philip Barnes, Cayman Corporate Centre, CIIB conference room
Bodden Town: Mr. Lee Ramoon, Church of God Chapel church hall
North Side: Ms. Jennifer Kaufman, United Church hall
East End: Mr. Dale Banks, East End Civic Centre
Sister Islands: Mr. Dave Talbert Tatum, District Administration Building conference room.
Prospective candidates should check qualification requirements in the Constitution. The Supervisor of Elections said candidates should be especially mindful of Section 19(G):
‘No person shall be qualified to be elected as a member of the Legislative Assembly who is a party to, or a partner in a firm or a director or manager of a company which is a party to, any contract with the government of the Islands for or on account of the public service and has not in the case of a contested election, caused to be published at least one month before the day of the poll (11 May, 2005) a Government Notice setting out the nature of such contract and his interest, or the interest of any such firm or company therein’.