Voter registration drive launched

Representatives of grass roots organisations Cayman United and Grasp Your Future have launched a voter’s registration drive.

With roughly 10,000 of eligible voters not registered, a representative of the campaign said the goal was to have at least 80 per cent of those people registered before the 31 December deadline. No one will be able to register for the 22 May General Election after the end of 2012.

“A lot of times people don’t have the time, they might not have the paperwork or don’t know how to get registered for whatever reason. However, with this drive, all they have to do is pick up the phone and we will come to them. Additionally, we will provide the necessary forms. We also have a portable photocopying machine to copy birth certificates and identification to make it as easy as possible for the voter,” said Kenneth Bryan, one of the organisers of the Grasp Your Future initiative, which was started on 3 September.

Mr. Bryan said that though he is going to be a candidate during the next election, his involvement with this particular initiative was not politically motivated. “This is something any citizen of the Cayman Islands should do,” he said.

Some of the requirements needed for those who intend to get registered are a copy of the individual’s birth certificate and a means of identification (preferably a passport), as well as a parent’s birth certificate for Caymanians. Those with Caymanian status are required to show a copy of their status and a means of identification. “We were prompted to start the drive because the younger generation was kind of removed from the process,” Mr. Bryan said. “Things have always been good in the Cayman Islands and many did not feel the need to get involved in the political process. However, the next election is crucial and people want to play a part. We want to make it easier for them.”

The public awareness campaign for the Grasp Your Future voter’s registration drive can be heard on most radio stations in the Cayman Islands, as well as seen on local television and featured at the Hollywood Theatres at Camana Bay in Grand Cayman.

Mr. Bryan attempted dispelled some of the fears people may have about getting registered. “I know that some people don’t want to get registered because of the fear of having to do jury duty, but jury duty is not mandatory if you are registered and you can still be chosen even if you are not on the list of registered voters,” he said, adding that some people also don’t know that they can vote.

“The new constitution allows status holders who are not naturalised to be eligible to vote,” he said. “Also, a lot of people who are now 17 years of age and will be 18 years old by 22 May, 2013, can be registered. They may not be aware of this.”

For more information on how the Grasp Your Future voter’s registration can assist you, contact 928-8683. Messages may be left and calls will be returned outside working hours.