Although some technical amendments to the territory’s Elections Law are still required, the draft order approving the voting change to single member districts – which was approved on a 13-3 vote Monday night – mandates that change take place prior to the May 2017 general election. Cayman Islands Governor Helen Kilpatrick is expected to sign the order, formalizing its passage, shortly.
“Hip, hip, hooray!” North Side MLA Ezzard Miller, a staunch supporter of the election voting change, shouted after the Legislative Assembly approved the order.
The three “no” votes came from opposition party members, including Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush, and MLAs Bernie Bush and Capt. Eugene Ebanks.
All government members, including independent Minister Tara Rivers and independent backbench members Roy McTaggart and Winston Connolly, approved the order, as did Mr. Miller and independent East End MLA Arden McLean. Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell, who was traveling on government business Monday, was the only assembly member absent when the vote was taken.
“[This is] one of the most significant constitutional and electoral changes this country has made,” Premier Alden McLaughlin said Wednesday night during his wrap-up debate on the issue.
The change shifts Cayman’s next election from the current, six district multi-member voting system where residents of the districts vote anywhere from one to six times, depending on where they live.
The Cayman Islands voting map will now be divided into 19 single member voting districts, or constituencies. Seventeen of those constituencies will be located on Grand Cayman and two will be located in the Sister Islands.