According to the elections office, 21,150 Caymanians are registered to vote as of July 2018.
A new grassroots group calling itself Cruise Port Referendum Cayman (CPR Cayman) is confident it can collect signatures from more than a quarter of these voters. That would force a vote on the controversial project.
“Every day we are getting emails from somebody asking where we can get it, where can I sign, because they are dying to sign for this,” said CPR Cayman’s Michelle Lockwood.
Ms. Lockwood said she is confident the newly-formed grassroots group can collect more than enough signatures to trigger a referendum on the controversial cruise berthing project.
“We have to get 25% of the registered voters, the registered voters amount to 21,500, so it gets us to about 5300 signatures that we need, actually we are trying to go above and beyond what we need,” she said.
“This referendum is so that the people could have a right to be a part of the democratic process,” said CPR Cayman’s Mario Rankin, who stressed that the petition itself is neither for or against the port.
“This is not a anti-port deal, this is not a ‘we don’t want the cruise port’, this is a petition merely to enact a referendum to give the people of the Cayman Islands a voice and have an opportunity to decide on an issue that is a matter of national importance,” said Mr. Rankin.
“No matter what your stance is, at the end of the day we should be having a referendum, we should be asking the country do they want this,” said Ms. Lockwood.
Ms. Lockwood said CPR Cayman is already collecting signatures towards the referendum.
Mr. Rankin told Cayman 27 when the 25% registered voter threshold is met and a referendum is initiated, more information on the project would almost certainly emerge.
“The government is going to have to come out and tell us why it is the best thing for us, which then we will have access to all of the accurate information, and then we will be able to debate,” he said.
With the information in the public domain, Mr. Rankin and Ms. Lockwood said the Caymanian voters could then consider the facts, and have the ultimate say.
“We need the signatures as soon as possible and I think that we can achieve it,” said Ms. Lockwood.
CPR Cayman will be collecting signatures at Hurley’s supermarket Saturday 1 September from 8am to 4pm.
Petitions will also be available for signing every day at Cathy Church’s Photo Centre, Pure Art, Four Winds Esso in West Bay, and BARCAM Esso in Prospect.
While only the signatures of registered voters will count towards the 25% threshhold for the referendum, expats, Caymanians under 18, and those not yet registered to vote are also welcome to sign the petition.