A West Bay voter’s name was removed from the Cayman Islands register of electors due to an “error” made by an Elections Office worker.
Now, the voter who was informed of the mistake in mid-April may not be able to participate in the upcoming general election, even though the removal of the name from the register was not that person’s fault.
The response from the Elections Office?
The voter should have doubled-checked the register of electors list.
“It is … unfortunate that you did not check the register of electors during [the] period from July 2012 to January 2013,” according to the letter sent to the voter by Elections Supervisor Kearney Gomez on 17 April.
The Caymanian Compass has contacted the voter who received the letter from Mr. Gomez on 17 April. The voter asked the newspaper withhold the name in the hope of eventually being included on the list prior to the 22 May vote.
Mr. Gomez’s letter stated that Deputy Elections Supervisor Orrett Connor was looking into the matter and that the office was “exploring the legal means that are at its disposal to [e]nsure that you are not disenfranchised on 22 May, 2013”. Elections officials promised to get back in touch with the voter prior to the election.
Mr. Connor reiterated Monday that the Elections Office was examining options to get the voter back on the list prior to 22 May.
According to the 17 April correspondence, the voter discovered the omission upon checking the register of electors the last time it was published on 1 April.
“We have determined that your name was on the official register of electors for 1 July, 2012 and that your name was omitted from the revised list of electors dated 21 July, 2012,” Mr. Gomez wrote.
However, Mr. Gomez also pointed out that, since last July, the register of electors has been updated every three months “for a total of at least five times” since the voter’s name was left off.
“While we acknowledge that an error was made by the registering officer by omitting your name, the procedures as outlined in the Elections Law … were followed, by having the preliminary and settled lists published, so that any omissions or other errors can be identified and rectified by way of claims,” he wrote.
The Elections Office, the government and Governor Duncan Taylor have been at great pains to allow as many Cayman Islands voters as possible to register this election term, even extending the normal early January voter registration deadline to 22 January.
Well more than 3,000 new voters registered between the July 2012 “one man, one vote” referendum and the January deadline, giving Cayman a record 18,492 registered voters for 22 May.