Many multiple votes unused

If every voter in multi-seat constituencies had used every X to which he or she was entitled, the final results of the 20 May General Elections could well have turned out differently.

voters unused

Deputy Supervisor of Elections Colford Scott starts the countdown to the 7am poll opening on Wednesday, 20 May. He is at the Elections Command Centre, where members of the radio communications team are seen in contact with polling divisions. Photo: Carol Winker

The clearest example of what one X can do is seen in the case of Maxine McCoy Moore, who finished fourth for the district of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. Receiving 80 votes from the 801 ballots cast, she garnered 9.99 per cent of the vote.

If one fewer person had voted, or if one more person had marked an X for her, she would have reached 10 per cent of total votes cast and thus would have had her $1,000 deposit returned to her.

The closest race was in Bodden Town, which sends three representatives to the Legislative Assembly. Former MLA Osbourne Bodden finished fourth, just 38 votes behind Dwayne Seymour, who was awarded the district’s third seat. The 2,815 ballots counted in Bodden Town could have represented 8,445 votes, since voters there could choose up to three candidates.

However, the vote total came up to just 7,986. The other 459 X’s that could have been marked were not.

Those numbers do not tell the whole story. It is not clear, for example, whether 459 voters opted to choose just two candidates. Some voters may well have chosen just one candidate.

Of course, it is speculation to say what might have been. There is only one restriction on a registered voter – No person shall vote for the election of more candidates than there are seats to be filled.

Not voting, or not voting for as many candidates as one had the right to, was the choice of the individual elector.

Results were easiest to understand in the single-member constituencies.

In East End, Arden McLean’s 304 votes and John McLean’s 206 voted added up to the total ballots cast: 510.

Similarly in North Side, Ezzard Miller’s 253 votes plus Joey Ebanks’ 185 plus Oswell Rankine’s 60 added up to the total ballots cast: 498.

.A voter in George Town, where there were four seats to be filled, could have chosen one or two or three or four candidates.

The final results show that 4,574 ballots represented a possible 18,296 votes. In fact, electors awarded 17,690 votes – a difference of 606.

That number is more than three times the difference between fourth seat winner Ellio Solomon and fifth place finisher Jonathan Piercy.

In West Bay, also with four seats, 3,006 ballots could have resulted in 12,024 votes. The total of votes actually cast was 11,636 – a difference of 388. No matter how those potential votes might have been divided, the outcome of the election in this district would have remained the same.

In Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, which has two seats in the Legislative Assembly, 801 ballots cast represented a possible 1,602 votes. But final tallies showed a total of 1,320 votes cast – a difference of 282.

With Moses Kirkconnell receiving 473 votes and Juliana O’Connor Connolly receiving 467, it could be argued that the 282 votes not cast might have affected the total for Lyndon Martin who, with 300 votes, finished 167 behind.

The above calculations and observations are informal and not from any official source.

The election results, however, come from the final report of the Supervisor of Elections, Mr. Kearney Gomez, after validation by each district’s returning officer. The statistics were released on Wednesday, 27 May.

With 43 candidates competing is this year’s elections for 15 parliamentary seats, only nine received an X on more than half of the ballots cast in their respective district.

The highest percentage of votes throughout the Cayman Islands went to McKeeva Bush in West Bay, with 71.59 per cent. His three teammates were also chosen on more than half the district’s ballots: Against seven other candidates, Rolston Anglin finished with 68.16 per cent; Cline Glidden, 60.48 per cent; Captain Eugene Ebanks, 54.36 per cent.

In East End, Arden McLean’s winning total was 59.61 per cent of total votes.

Both winners in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman received strong majorities. Mr. Kirkconnell finished with 59.05 per cent. Mrs. O’Connor-Connolly was right behind with 58.30 per cent.

Of the three winners out of 10 candidates in Bodden Town, only Mark Scotland finished over the 50 per cent mark, with 51.62 per cent.

Mr. Miller in North Side was victorious with 50.80 per cent.

In George Town, where there were 13 candidates, the highest percentage of votes went to Kurt Tibbetts, with 47.68 per cent.

All candidates had to deposit $1,000 on Nomination Day. The Elections Law states that if an unsuccessful candidate receives less than one-tenth of the total of votes polled, his or her $1,000 is forfeited to the Crown. The total of votes polled is the number of ballot papers counted, other than wholly rejected ballots.

Candidates who received 10 per cent or more of the vote have their deposit returned to them.

West Bay: 3,006 ballots

Dora Ebanks, 29 votes, 0.96per cent

Henry Morgan, 107 votes, 3.56per cent

George Town: 4574 ballots

Frank McField, 216 votes, 4.72per cent

Bodden Town: 2,815 ballots

Sandra Catron, 144 votes, 5.12per cent

Vincent Frederick, 113 votes, 4.01per cent

Cayman Brac & Little Cayman: 801 ballots

Maxine McCoy Moore, 80 votes, 9.99per cent

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