Supervisor of Elections Kearney Gomez reminds voters that Thursday, 7 May, is the deadline for applications to be received from voters who wish to make use of this new facility. The Elections Law was amended last year to provide it.
Mobile polling stations are meant to be used by three general groups of voters: people in a hospital, rest home or their own home who are unable to go to a polling station because of illness or physical incapacity; election workers and those whose occupation prevents them from going to the polling station in person; people in Little Cayman who will not be travelling to their polling station in Cayman Brac.
Deputy Supervisor of Elections Colford Scott put it succinctly: ‘For those who can’t come to the polls, we’re taking the polls to them.’
There are two types of mobile voting facilities. One is a trailer, complete with access ramp and facilities inside for election officers and observers, plus a full size voting booth.
The second facility allows a team from the Elections Office to bring a portable booth to the voter’s home. The booth can be used as a laptop or it can be set up as a desk with legs easily inserted.
‘Voters can sit in the comfort of their living room or front porch and still have privacy in marking their ballots,’ Mr. Gomez pointed out.
Two separate teams will visit voters – one team for the General Elections and one team for the Referendum.
Each presiding officer will carry the necessary equipment. The voter will mark his or her ballot in secret and then hand it to the presiding officer, the same as if they were at a regular polling station. The presiding officer will remove the counterfoil from the ballot and give the ballot back to the voter, who will then drop it into the locked ballot box.
If any voter requires assistance, he or she may have a friend watch as the presiding officer marks the ballot as instructed by the elector.
The process is straightforward, Mr. Gomez emphasised, and it is not time consuming.
Mobile voters will cast their ballots in advance of Election Day on 20 May. The Elections Office will publish a schedule for each district.
The application form for mobile voting is Form BA, which is available at all post offices, the Elections Office website, from the District Registering Officer or from the Elections Office, 2nd floor, Smith Road Professional Centre, 150 Smith Road.
The completed application should be returned as soon as possible. It may be hand-delivered to the District Registering Officer or to the Elections Office.
The District Registering Officers from whom application forms may be obtained are as follows:
West Bay: Mrs. Darlene Owens-Elliott, 916-4402
George Town: Ms Kathryn Myles, 916-2117
Bodden Town: Mrs. Kerry Nixon, 916-4478
East End: Mrs. Vernicia Watler, 916-4647
North Side: Ms Esther Patricia Ebanks, 916-4349
Cayman Brac and Little Cayman: Mrs. Georgene Lazzari, 948-0343.