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To vote… or not to vote

Before you tick a box for your candidate of choice on election day, there’s a decision to be made: To vote, or not to vote.

One Facebook group is asking that very question, and the answers it’s getting from the public both for and against might surprise you.

Page founder Anniki Brown has been asking herself that very question for years.

“I’ve been an elections officer since I was about 18. I’ve been a part of the electoral process from an official standpoint, but had not registered to vote until the last election,” she admitted.

She founded To Vote or Not to Vote ahead of the 2013 elections, not to make a political statement, but as a forum for discussion.

“A couple of things that have actually come up have been what is seen as apathy of the younger generations. People in their 20’s and in their teens,” she said.

For some, not voting is an act of rebellion, but other eligible voters have chosen to opt out of the process for an interesting reason.

“Quite a few folks have decided to opt out of being on the list for jury duty,” she explained. “Jury duty is something quite a lot of young people want to avoid. They’ve thought this through and decided not to vote.”

The main factor, she told Cayman 27, is disengagement.

“It really is more of a testimony as to how they see this system and how our government currently is seen by that generation,” she said.

She told Cayman 27 it’s difficult for some potential voters to energise for registration when candidates won’t officially be nominated for another several weeks. Her advice to those, register now and you can still opt-out later.

“Actually allow yourself the option of being surprised or being motivated or changing your mind by getting yourself on that list,” she said. “And you still have the option of not going down there on polling day.”

And for 2017, she’s made her mind up about one thing.

“I’m registered, and I think I am voting,” she said with a laugh.

Despite the perception of voter apathy, the elections office says it’s almost doubled the number of young voters registered over the previous election.

Election officials are still pushing to register as many as possible before the deadline, which is Monday the 16th at midnight.

About the author

Joseph Avary

Joseph Avary

Joe Avary joined the Cayman 27 team in January 2014, bringing nearly two decades of experience in TV news to the islands. He spends his time away from the office scuba diving, practicing yoga, and trying to make his friends laugh at his comedic stylings. He proudly calls the district of West Bay home, and loves nothing more than relaxing visits to the Sister Islands.

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