Editorial for 16 January: Second chance at registration

People who are eligible but haven’t yet registered to vote
are being given a few extra days to accomplish that task.

Governor Duncan Taylor agreed on Monday to re-open voter
registration for another week until 22 January.

He made the decision based on a request from our new
minority government.

While our lawmakers had requested an extension until 31
January, Mr. Taylor said he didn’t want to interfere too much in the process
and the critical dates that have already been put in stone when it comes to
registration deadlines.

It will mean more work for the folks at the Cayman Islands
Elections Office, but we bet staff and volunteers there won’t begrudge allowing
more people to register. The thinking is that there are at least another 3,000
people among us who are eligible to vote, but have yet to register in time for
the 22 May election, despite recent campaigning and pushes to get eligible
voters to sign up.

There are about 18,000 voters registered already in the
Cayman Islands, which really isn’t much when you compare that figure to the
Caymanian population of 31,325 as of year end 2011.

Some public interest groups believe the number of registered
voters could be somewhere around 25,000 if everyone who is eligible registered.

Those who haven’t done so really have no excuse not to
participate in the democratic process in May.

We’ve heard the excuse that people don’t want to register
because they don’t want to take a chance of being called to jury duty. To that
we say hogwash.

If you are a member of this society, you have a duty to take
part in all manner of civic duty, from voting to serving on juries. To shirk
those responsibilities is a disservice to yourself and the Cayman Islands.

Under our new constitution, anyone who has Caymanian Status
is eligible to vote.

The extension also means that those who have changed
addresses or their names have an additional chance to have that information
entered correctly on the voter rolls.

Register. You have no excuse not to.