Supervisor of Elections Wesley Howell expects re-opening early next week
The Elections Office has closed temporarily, but Supervisor of Elections Wesley Howell expects things to be back to normal early in the coming week.
Everyone who worked in the Elections Office was on contract, he explained on Thursday, and those contracts expired 30 June. “We have no legal authority to contract anyone at this time. Until contracts are issued, they can’t continue working,” he pointed out.
However, Mr. Howell added, “I expect this will be sorted out by early next week.”
Eldon Whittaker, who worked as chief assignments officer, put up the closed sign as directed by Mr. Howell, with the directive that all enquiries go to the new supervisor at 525-7662 (cell) or 244-7662.
Mr. Whittaker said he and office manager Tosca Connor were in the office on Monday, 1 July – the Constitution Day holiday – so that people who worked for the 22 May General Elections could collect their cheques. However, they were not able to contact everyone.
The office has not been open since Monday, so Mr. Whittaker gathered the uncollected cheques and carried them to Mr. Howell’s office in the Government Administration Building.
About 300 people were involved in different aspects of Elections Day duties, including field and transportation officers, logistics teams, presiding officers and poll clerks for the 46 polling stations in Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac.
Another concern is the candidates’ return of revenue and expenditure, which they are required by law to file within 35 days after the date on which the election was declared. That means the due date was 27 June for the smaller districts and 28 June for the larger districts.
Another Elections Law mandate is that the supervisor publish a summary of returns, accompanied by a notice of the time and place at which the returns and supporting documents can be inspected. In the past, this has been done at the Elections Office during normal working hours.
Mr. Howell indicated he would continue that arrangement.