Government says the price tag to hold the 2017 general elections will be upwards of a million dollars. Come 2017 Cayman will move to single member constituencies, which will see 19 electoral districts.
Elections Supervisor Wesley Howell says there are several new factors that will see an increase to government’s final bill.
During a press conference Mr Howell said, “We expect the general elections to cost just over a million dollars, which is more than we spent in 2013. But that’s understandable because we are significantly changing the way that folks will vote.” He added, “We’ve made provisions for increased voter education.”
That million dollar price tag will a see a complete overhaul of the voting system, as well as changes to how the commission enlists new voters. With elections a little over a year away, the work to introduce the new system has already begun. The first step was to review the current voters list.
Deputy Elections Supervisor Sheena Glasgow said, “At this stage we have an estimated 5,000 persons who are qualified to vote but are not yet registered.” A significant portion of those voters are young people who will be of voting age come election day. Mr Howell says they have realised that in order to reach that particular demographic the commission must take the message to them.
“We’re trying to engage them where they are,” said Mr. Howell. He added, “We’re going into UCCI, we’ve been to Camana Bay, we’re on Facebook, Instagram [and] Twitter.”
Come 2017 each of Cayman’s voter will have to learn a new system that will incorporate new methods which election officials believe will make the experience easier.
“Some of the changes that we are proposing is to include a picture of the candidate and so you will have the name, the candidate’s picture; if they are a part of the party, the party’s symbol and if they are an independent, they will have an independent symbol,” said Ms Glasgow.
The deadline for persons who which to get registered is January 31, 2017. If you turn 18 on or before May 24th 2017, your age will not be a disqualifying factor. For more information on how to register click here.