First batch of postal ballots heads out next week

Cayman is roughly one and a half months away from its first people’s-initiated referendum with staff at the Elections Office expecting to send out the first batch of postal ballots from 5-8 Nov.

At last count, the Elections Office reported that some 86 registered voters had applied for postal ballots. The deadline to apply for those ballots is 7 Dec.

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On Monday, legislators began debate on the Referendum Bill which will establish the processes for the conduct of the 19 Dec. poll on government’s proposed $200 million cruise port and cargo project.

The statutory requirement for the referendum to be successful is 50% plus one of the electorate.

As it stands, 21,217 individuals, under the 1 Oct. electors list, are eligible to vote which means it would take 10, 609 ‘no’ votes to stop the project.

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The Elections Law outlines clear guidelines for postal ballots and mobile voting. Voters who will be on island on Referendum Day do not qualify for postal ballots. Under the law, voters who appear on the Official Register of Electors and are living off-island, such as students and persons away for medical care, can apply for ballots.

Voters who are living in the Cayman Islands but will be travelling or will be off-island on Referendum Day can apply for a postal ballot as soon as they have purchased airline tickets showing that they will be away.

In the case of mobile voting, qualification extends to those who are, or are likely to be, in a hospital, rest home or other similar institution on Referendum Day, as well as those who have a physical incapacity and will be unable to go in person to the polling station.

People working during Referendum Day, such as polling staff, police and medical personnel, can vote early by applying for mobile voting and casting their vote at a mobile voting station.

Elections Office mobile teams are set to visit nominated locations from 10-13 Dec., the week before Referendum Day, to cast their ballots.

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