George Town leads in postal ballots

Final number won’t be known until Wednesday

As of Thursday, 5 July, 287 postal ballots had been issued to voters for the 18 July referendum on whether people support single-member constituencies, with each elector being entitled to cast only one vote.  

The district with the largest number of postal ballots is George Town, where 142 have been issued so far. Bodden Town is next, with 70. 

In West Bay, 55 postal ballots have been issued. The numbers for the other districts are: North Side, 10; East End, 6; Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, 4. 

The number of postal ballots is of interest because the special handling they require during the count could impact how long it will take before results are known. Ballots will be counted by district, but the territory-wide results are what matter. 

Friday, 6 July, was the deadline for applying for a postal ballot. 

Once the application is approved by the registering officer for the voter’s district, the ballot will be sent by registered mail to the address the voter specified. Election officials said the issuing process will be witnessed by scrutineers and observers, who need two days notice to attend, so the final issue cannot take place until Wednesday, 11 July. At that point, the official number of postal ballots issued will be known. 

The voter using a postal ballot must return it to the district returning officer by the close of polls on 18 July, which is at 6pm. The ballots may be mailed, sent by courier service or hand delivered. 

During a training session for observers and scrutineers last week, Supervisor of Elections Kearney Gomez said that, with the ballot count starting an hour after polls close on the Wednesday, it was estimated that all results would be known by 2am or 3am on Thursday.