It may seem a strange thing that Wednesday’s referendum voting yielded a 65 per cent “yes” response from those who participated, but will only be considered advisory to the Cayman Islands government going forward.
However, constitutional rules allow for the requirement that 50 per cent plus one vote of all registered electors must say “yes” on the item for it to be considered legally binding on the government.
So with 8,677 people voting on Wednesday, according to unofficial election returns, securing a 50 per cent plus one vote or 7,582 “yes” votes would have needed an 87 per cent favourable vote. Instead, “yes” voters only made it to 65 per cent.
When viewed in the context of what the referendum requirement actually was, only one voting district in the Cayman Islands – North Side – met the 50 per cent plus one tally of registered voters.
North Side had 61 per cent of all its registered voters – 335 “yes” votes out of 551 eligible to cast ballots – say “yes” to the “one man, one vote” referendum.
Cayman’s other already existing single-member voting district, East End, got 44 per cent of all its registered voters to support the referendum. Some 257 of 588 registered voters in East End backed “one man, one vote”/single-member districts.
None of the other four Cayman Islands voting districts, all of which are multimember constituencies with between two and four elected representatives, got more than 40 per cent of their total registered voters to choose “yes” in the referendum.
George Town had 40 per cent registered voters select “yes”, meaning 2,360 people in Cayman’s largest voting district supported “one man, one vote”.
Similarly, Bodden Town had a 40 per cent “yes” tally among all registered voters with 1,396 supporting the referendum.
West Bay, the political stronghold of Premier McKeeva Bush, saw just 28 per cent of its registered voters say “yes” during Wednesday’s vote; just more than 1,000 people.
Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, the home of Deputy Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, had an even lower 27 per cent of all registered voters say “yes” – 256 out of 959 people.
Looking at “no” votes for the referendum in the same manner, no voting district came anywhere close to achieving a 50 per cent plus one majority of registered voters.
The closest “no” vote on the referendum issue would have been West Bay, where 29 per cent of all registered voters opposed the referendum. In Cayman Brac, only 21 per cent of registered voters said “no” to the referendum.
In the other districts, the “no” votes didn’t even reach 20 per cent of all registered voters.
George Town saw 17 per cent of those registered vote “no” in the referendum; Bodden Town had about 18 per cent of all its voters say “no”. In East End, only 13 per cent of registered voters cast “no” ballots while only 10 per cent of registered North Side voters said “no”.