Registered voters on Grand Cayman will be able to obtain new voter ID cards from today.
Teams from the Elections Office have already arranged with major employers to set up equipment at various work places in order to make it easier for employees to obtain the cards. The teams will also be stationed at supermarkets on Saturdays.
One set of equipment remains at the Elections Office in Kirk House so that voters may get the ID card there if they wish.
Supervisor of Elections Kearney Gomez said all voter ID cards issued prior to Hurricane Ivan in September 2004 are obsolete and new cards should be obtained. The cards are not mandatory. ‘We are not forcing anyone to get it done,’ Mr. Gomez said.
The cards are legally known as elector registration cards. Having one makes the voting process more efficient. ‘It’s to the voter’s advantage and to ours,’ Mr. Gomez said.
In addition to the person’s picture, information on the card includes the voter’s name, address, date of birth, voter registration number, electoral district and polling division.
These last details should reduce the likelihood of anyone going to the wrong polling station. The card also eliminates the need to produce any other form of identification if requested by polling officers.
Companies taking part in the voter card programme include Cayman Airways and CUC. Major government departments have also been scheduled, as have large office buildings such as Citrus Grove and Elizabethan Square.
Mr. Gomez said the last time voter ID cards were issued, ‘churches were the first ones to ask if we would do their congregations.’ Of course he said yes, and will say yes again if asked.
‘This is an all-encompassing exercise and if anyone wants to invite us, we will come,’ Mr. Gomez said.
The issuing of new cards will continue until the General Elections in May 2009.
Voters in Cayman Brac have been able to get their cards since 3 March from Elections Officer Raquel Matute. Mrs. Matute is at the Government Administration Office for this purpose on Mondays, 2-4pm Tuesdays, 2-5pm and the last Saturday of each month 9am to noon. Her contact number is 925-4198. For voters in Little Cayman, the Elections Office will be making arrangements.
Chief Logistics Officer Wintroy Randal said the equipment used to produce the voter ID card is similar to that used for a driver’s licence, consisting of a camera unit, computer software and card printer.
Voter information must be accurate
Supervisor of Elections Kearney Gomez emphasises the need for accuracy of information on the Register of Electors, or voters list.
‘If the register does not accurately reflect the elector’s name, street address and occupation, then application on Form 13 should be made as soon as possible to have the register amended,’ he said.
Form 13 is available at district post offices or it may be downloaded from the Elections Office website www.electionsoffice.ky
Any voter who has moved out of the district in which he or she was formerly registered must now register in the district moved to. This can be done using the same Form 13.
Information on the Register of Electors can be checked for any voter on the Elections Office website. District lists are kept at the district post offices.