Almost half of Cayman’s voters have already turned out at local polling stations to cast their ballots in the 2021 general election.
According to the latest Elections Office update, 49.7% of Cayman’s electorate, or 11,727 voters, have cast ballots thus far. These figures also include postal and mobile voters.
The constituencies of Cayman Brac East and North Side have already crossed the halfway mark of their total registered voters.
In Cayman Brac East, 279 ballots (58.61%) have been cast and in North Side 509 people (60.89%), have already voted.
Over in East End, ballots have also passed the halfway mark with 419 votes (54.49%) cast. In Newlands as well, 807 people (54.27%) of the electorate have already ticked their ballots.
Cayman Compass journalists, who have been out in the field visiting local polling stations since 7am, have noted long lines of voters waiting to have their say.
George Town South voter Fiona Foster, with her dog Maisie at her side, was at John Gray High School for the start of the polls.
She said did not encounter any problems.
”It went extremely well, highly organised. It went very smoothly… no problems at all, a very satisfactory system,” she said.
Foster said she was looking forward to making full use of her day off.
”I am going to play tennis. I think I will go to the beach and play bridge in the evening,” she said, agreeing that she had a busy schedule.
”But this (voting) is the most important part,” Foster added.
Governor visits polling stations
Governor Martyn Roper, along with Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, drove around the districts on Wednesday, visiting various stations.
Roper told the Compass that from what he had seen, voting appeared to be “very calm, very orderly and very efficiently organised”.
The pair began their tour of the polling stations in West Bay, and planned to move on to other districts as the day progressed.
“So far, I’ve been incredibly pleased by what the Elections Office has done to ensure free and fair elections, and I think we can all be proud of what is happening here today,” Manderson said.
Supervisor of Elections Wesley Howell said, as in previous elections, his officers had been receiving complaints of candidates and their agents spending too much time at polling stations.
Under Section 56 of the Elections Law, “no candidate and his agent, or two agents of the same candidate, shall be in the same polling station at the same time for more than fifteen consecutive minutes”.
Howell said the Elections Office command centre staff was logging any complaints about candidates and their agents staying longer than 15 minutes together at stations.
“The police command centre is right next door to us, and we have a number of investigators assigned to us today and they’re actively looking at anything that comes in. But at this point, what we’re having is the normal [activity] of candidates jostling for an advantage and speaking out if they think someone is… in breach of the regulations,” he said.
Howell said although a candidate and agent are restricted to spending a maximum of 15 minutes together inside a polling station, candidates are allowed to stay as long as they like outside the polling stations’ 300-feet exclusion zone.
However, any election campaigning by candidates on polling day is prohibited.
Reshma Ragoonath and Norma Connolly contributed to this report.