Political rumors and campaign canvassing confusion colored Election Day in the Cayman Islands. While police reported no serious, election-related misconduct, speculative reports trickled in throughout the day.
Several reports of polling station canvassing beyond the 300-foot boundary were received by the Elections Office on Wednesday. The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service indicated it received no complaints about the issue, however, other than reports forwarded from the Elections Office.
Some individuals crossed the line demarcating the exclusion zone around the polling stations, but complied with officers when asked to move away, an RCIPS official confirmed.
Social media posts against George Town North candidate Joseph Hew fueled some of the day’s most incendiary rumors and provoked confusion among voters. The RCIPS issued a statement on Election Day afternoon denying any issues with Mr. Hew or any other candidate. They called the reports “spurious and baseless.”
“We can categorically state that no candidate or any other person has been arrested today in connection with any election offences, or is under house arrest,” an RCIPS statement said.
Mr. Hew said he was disappointed by the unproven allegations against him but was proud to be vindicated by his victory at the close of polls.
Speaking to the Cayman Compass late Wednesday, he said, “There was a lot of mischief today. It was very hurtful for myself and my family. Everyone is exposed to that. There are people that love to hide behind social media and make these accusations wildly. I say to them, ‘Just think about your own kids one day.’ They may feel the effects of that.”
Another issue arose when a candidate asked to accompany a box of postal ballots between a polling station and the Elections Office, Elections Supervisor Wesley Howell said.
Mr. Howell described the request as “inappropriate” and told the candidate he could not be accommodated.
Shortly after this request, Mr. Howell said rumors began to circulate about a missing postal ballot box. He said this was not true and that no ballot boxes went missing.
RCIPS reported no other election-related incidents from Wednesday.