Voter identification cards for more than 21,000 electors were to be distributed by the Cayman Islands Elections Office during the first few weeks of May, and Friday, May 19, is the very last day to pick one up.
However, the cards are not strictly necessary for a registered voter to cast their ballot on May 24.
Local law requires the Elections Office to issue ID cards. The cards are used at the polling station to vote, but other forms of ID can be used as well.
Elections Supervisor Wesley Howell said the office prefers that everyone receive a voter ID, but if that does not happen, the law allows for individuals to vote with other forms of ID. A passport or a driver’s license can be used if the name on the ID matches the name on the voter list. In fact, one cannot obtain a voter ID card in the first place without showing either a passport or driver’s license with the same name on it.
“For the infrequent instances where persons have no ID, the elections law does allow them to be able to vote after taking an oath of identity,” Mr. Howell said.
If all else fails, Mr. Howell said, it’s very likely the experienced polling staff will know many district voters. “The polling station will also have candidates and agents present who are able to identify most voters by sight,” he said.
The voter ID cards are being reissued for the 2017 general election because of the territory’s switch to 19 single-member voting districts. Previously, a card would have identified a voter only in “George Town” or “West Bay” for instance.
Under the new system, each voter’s specific voting district is listed as “George Town South” or “West Bay North.”
Voters must reside in the single-member constituency they are casting ballots in, although residency is not a requirement for candidates seeking election in those districts.
The voter cards list the person’s full name, address, voting district (single-member constituency) and have a photo of the voter.
The new cards will replace previously issued voter IDs.