If the cruise port referendum is held this year, eligible voters who have not already registered with the Elections Office will not be able to cast a ballot in the historic vote.
However, if the referendum is held in the new year, voters only have until 1 Oct. to register to get their names on the electors list, according to Elections Supervisor Wesley Howell.
He said those registering on or before the 1 Oct. deadline will be included in the next voters list, which will be released on 1 Jan.
As Cayman’s first people-initiated referendum on the project looms on the horizon, staff at the Elections Office are aiming to boost voter registration.
Howell said his office is ramping up efforts to get eligible electors to sign up before the 1 Oct. deadline for the next official update of the voters list. Those efforts include extending opening hours at the Elections Office in the Smith Road Centre on that day to facilitate last-minute registrations.
“We plan to open until 9pm on 1 October,” Howell said, and he encouraged all eligible voters to register as soon as possible.
A new voters list, containing 21,216 electors, will be released on 1 Oct, containing the names of voters who registered by 1 July.
“We do not have online registration. However, registration forms are available for download, and must be delivered to the Registering Officer or the Elections Office with the required documentation,” he said.
On Wednesday this week, Cruise Port Referendum Cayman campaigners delivered the original port project petition to Cabinet. The documents contained the 5,862 signatures gathered by the group. A total of 5,305 of those names have been verified by the Elections Office.
The Elections Office has yet to submit the official verified petition documents to Cabinet. Those documents are needed to move the process forward.
CPR Cayman suggested January 2020 as the appropriate time for the referendum.
An executive with CPR Cayman, Shirley Roulstone, said getting the vote to happen is only one part of the effort.
“We would like to say that even though you could not sign the petition, that you [can] come out and have a voice in the referendum. This is a moment in history that will be remembered for a long, long time,” she said.