Today’s Editorlial for May 19: History in the making

Tomorrow represents a historic day for the Cayman Islands. Not only will the country choose its political representation for the next four challenging years, it will decide whether to accept the draft new constitution in the country’s first-ever referendum.

We’re hoping by now that those who are registered voters have done their homework on the candidates and the draft constitution and that they have made their decisions. If not, there is a lot of information on the caycompass.com election website to help them make up their minds, including video interviews with the candidates, archived news articles of the candidates’ public meetings and much more.

Most importantly, we urge registered electors to get out and vote, both in the election and the referendum. Voting in the latter is especially important because it will only take a simple majority of voters to vote yes or no in the referendum for the draft constitution to either be accepted or defeated. If, for example, only half of the people vote in the referendum, then as little as 25 per cent of the voters could impose their will on the other 75 per cent of eligible voters.

It is also important that voters take care in marking their ballots so that their vote is not wasted. If voters have questions, they need to ask election officials at their polling place.

As for the large non-voting contingent of residents on the island – whether they are non-registered Caymanians or non-Caymanians – tomorrow’s election will have just as much impact on them as the people casting votes.

It might seem unnecessary to some non-voters for Election Day to be a public holiday or for there to be no sales of alcohol while the polls are open, but this is reflection of the importance the Caymanian society puts on the single-most vital aspect of a democratic society.

Although some businesses will open tomorrow, we urge all business owners who have registered voters on duty tomorrow to allow them ample time to go to their required polling station. At the same time, we urge voters to not abuse the cooperativeness of their employers by voting before they come to work – or afterwards – if at all possible.

For those following the election, we invite you to visit the caycompass.com election website tomorrow evening, where will continually update election results as they come in

No matter what the election outcome, the sun will rise on the Cayman Islands again on Thursday morning and we hope the victorious – whoever they might be – can help steer this country through the choppy seas in which it now finds itself.

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