Nearly two dozen voters have signed up for postal ballots for the 19 Dec. referendum on government’s $200 million cruise berthing port and cargo project.
Elections Supervisor Wesley Howell said 22 applications had been received as of Monday evening, as the countdown to Referendum Day continues. The deadline to apply for postal ballots is 7 Dec.
The Elections Office confirmed it expects to send out the first batch of postal ballots on 5-8 Nov.
The statutory requirement for the referendum to be successful is 50% plus one of the entire registered electorate, rather than a straight majority of the number of people who will actually cast their ballots on 19 Dec.
Currently, 21,217 individuals on the 1 Oct. Electors List are eligible to vote, of which 10,609 ‘no’ votes would have to be cast to stop the project going ahead.
The Elections Office on Monday outlined the process for both postal ballots and mobile voting.
Postal ballots are not permitted for people who will be physically in the Cayman Islands on Referendum Day, the Elections Office added. It is intended for any voters who reside off-island and are unable to return to vote or who will not be in Cayman on Referendum Day.
The government’s Referendum Bill for the people-initiated vote maintains provisions for postal and mobile voting.
The statement from the Elections Office noted that the Referendum Bill “also enhances the option of postal voting by adding the flexibility for the Elections Office to use commercial trackable courier services.
The draft bill permits the Elections Office to send postal ballots to persons overseas by commercial courier, so these ballots can be delivered within two to three business days after the ballots are issued by the Returning Officer.”
In addition, the statement said, a registered voters can request mobile voting if they are unable or unlikely to be able to go in person to the polling station.
The Elections Office said mobile voting teams will be visiting those who have requested the facility at their nominated locations between 10 and 13 Dec., the week before Referendum Day, to cast their ballots.
Qualifications for mobile voting
1. Voters who are or are likely to be in a hospital, rest home or other similar institution on Referendum Day or because they are a geriatric at home.
2. Voters who are blind or have any other physical incapacity and are unable to go in person to the polling station or unable to go unaided.
3. Voters who are unable to go in person to the polling station because of the general nature of their occupations, service or employment.
4. Persons working during Referendum Day (e.g., polling staff, police, medical personnel, etc.) may vote early by applying for mobile voting and casting their vote at a mobile voting station on a prescribed day during the week before the referendum.
In cases where the Registering Officer approves mobile voting, mobile teams will consist of an Elections Office presiding officer, poll clerk, logistics officer, police officer and appointed observers.
Application forms for postal voting (Form B) and mobile voting (Form C) are available online from http://www.elections.ky or can also be collected in person from the Elections Office at 150 Smith Road Centre.
Qualification for postal ballots
1. Voters who are already registered on the Official Register of Electors and are living off-island, such as students and people away for medical care.
a. These overseas postal ballots will be sent via express courier as soon as the Referendum Law is gazetted.
2. Voters on the Official Register of Electors who are living in the Cayman Islands but will be off-island on Referendum day (19 Dec.).
a. These voters can apply for a postal ballot as soon as they have purchased airline tickets showing that they will be away on Referendum Day.
b. These ballot papers will be delivered by local courier and should arrive within two to three business days.
Postal ballot applications are now being accepted by the Elections Office.
The deadline for postal ballot applications is 7 Dec.