A draft of the voting map proposed for the Cayman Islands’ 2017 general election would add one more representative seat to the Legislative Assembly, for a total of 19 legislators.
The single-member constituencies proposal, released early Monday by the Elections Office, creates seven separate voting areas within George Town district, four constituencies each within Bodden Town and West Bay districts, two on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman and one apiece in East End and North Side.
The 2015 Electoral Boundaries Commission map is considered a “draft” at this point and commission chair Lisa Handley said earlier this month that further public hearings to discuss the draft will be held in early July.
All single-member constituencies, except for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, East End and North Side, will maintain approximately the same number of voters.
The change proposed for the territory’s voting system ahead of 2017 will implement the principle of “one man, one vote,” taking away the ability of voters in the larger multi-member districts of West Bay, George Town, Bodden Town and the Sister Islands to elect more than one representative to the assembly.
The largest change from the proposed single-member constituencies voting map the Cayman Islands government released in 2010 came in George Town, Cayman’s most densely-populated district.
George Town district has been divided up in the 2015 draft voting map into seven constituencies from George Town North district in the northwest to Prospect in the furthest east.
Compared to the 2010 district map, one new constituency – George Town East – has been added to the draft voting map.
There were also significant boundary changes made to most of the existing voting districts from the 2010 map including in the constituencies of Red Bay, George Town South and George Town Central.
The territory’s second-largest voting district was carved up into four constituencies with the areas of Newlands and Savannah staying in the 2015 version of the map. However, the 2015 map has Newlands decreasing in overall land area while Savannah appears to have grown slightly compared to the earlier proposals released in 2010.
Also, the single-member districts called “Pedro” and “Bodden Town” in the 2010 boundary map have been replaced by “Bodden Town West” and “Bodden Town East,” respectively, in the 2015 version. The two districts have also seen significant changes in territorial areas covered.
The third-largest voting district, West Bay, has been entirely redrawn from the 2010 proposal for single-member constituencies.
The single-member constituency of West Bay South now extends from Barkers in the east, to the West Bay Public Beach in the northwest and down to Seven Mile Beach in the south.
The West Bay North district now encompasses the entire northern coast of the district between North West Point Road in the west to Conch Point on the eastern side of the district.
A new district called West Bay Central now covers the only land-locked portion of the West Bay district voting map.
The voting map for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman divides the larger island between Cayman Brac West and Cayman Brac East in much the same way the 2010 electoral boundary proposal did.
Little Cayman, as it was in 2010, has been added to Cayman Brac West and will elect a representative from that district to the Legislative Assembly.
The map for East End and North Side indicated those areas had been left as separate single-member districts.
Maps of the new constituency boundaries can be viewed at the Elections Office and the local public libraries, as well as on the government’s website www.electionsoffice.ky.