The Cayman Islands General Elections are coming up on the 26th of May 2021, and there are currently 22,241 registered voters.
The rate of those registering has seen a gradual increase over the past few months, and it has been very encouraging to see our community taking an active interest in the future of the Cayman Islands. The final deadline for Caymanians to register to vote in the upcoming General Elections is 20th January 2021. Here, we detail the steps that you need to take to register to vote, especially for those who are unsure about the process.
Am I Eligible?
To register to vote, the first thing you must do is check that you are eligible.
As per Section 90 (1) of the Cayman Islands Constitution Order (2009), those who are eligible to vote includes those who are:
- Over the age of 18 years old;
- Is resident in the Cayman Islands at the date of registering to vote;
- Has been a resident in Cayman for more than 2 years;
- If you are under the age of 18, but you will be 18 years old before or on the polling day at election, you too are eligible
Who is Not Eligible?
You cannot register to vote if:
- You are serving a prison sentence exceeding 12 months, or have received a suspended sentence;
- Are considered to be of unsound mind or mentally unstable;
- Have been disqualified from registering due to election-related offences.
To register to vote, you must first check you meet voters eligibility requirements. We outline eligibility as per Section 90 (1) of the Cayman Islands Constitution Order (2009).
How Do I Register?
Once you know your eligibility, if you are ready to register, visit The Elections Office Website and complete a ‘Form 4’. You must then submit your completed form and the required original documents, detailed below, to the Registering Officer for your district, or the Elections Office in Baytown Plaza.
Caymanian Status Holders:
Caymanian status holders, along with the registration form, must provide their birth certificate, certificate of Caymanian status and a copy of photo ID (either a passport or driver’s license).
Caymanian Born and Have Caymanian Parent(s) or Grandparent:
If you were born in Cayman or have immediate Caymanian family, you must provide your birth certificate, a birth certificate of your family that was born in the Islands (commonly a parent or grandparent), as well as photo ID.
If you are Caymanian with an Acknowledgement Letter from Immigration or WORC:
In this case, if you identify as Caymanian, you must provide a copy of your birth certificate, a letter from WORC or the Department of Immigration that confirms your status, and photo ID.
For more information about registering to vote, make sure that you check the list on www.elections.ky. If you are already registered from past elections, ensure that your details are still up to date, especially if you have moved recently or your name has changed. If any personal details have changed since registering (name, occupation, location) you must complete a 'Form 13'. Make sure that you register to vote by 20th January 2021, so that you can contribute to the Cayman Islands' democracy in May 2021!
Registering to vote is fairly straight-forward in the Cayman Islands. Once you have determined eligibility, you can submit appropriate forms and required documentation to either the Registering Officer in your district or the Elections Office in Baytown Plaza.
Registering From Overseas
While overseas you can still ensure that you fulfill your responsibility and duty to vote.
Per Section 90 (1) of the Cayman Islands Constitution
Order (2009) persons are only eligible to vote providing they have no
been out of the country for longer than two years. After which they will
be removed from the official register of electors. If you are working
overseas the assumption is that you will have recognised eligibility and
registered to vote prior to leaving the Island. If you are a student
overseas, you can register to vote during your school holidays.
For guidance, here is some first hand experience from a mother of an overseas Caymanian student:
"As my son is at school in the UK, and he had a limited time to register, I contacted Mr Wesley Howell, Cayman’s Elections Supervisor (a man who couldn’t be better suited to the job – fair, responsive and authoritative), to find out if my son could register in advance of his birthday. Mr Howell confirmed that my son was allowed to get onto the October list (as his birthday is in November) in advance of the elections. He will be legally 18 at the time of the elections.
The registration process was very easy, and can be found here: https://portal.elections.ky/index.php/home/registeration-process
We simply had to turn up to the elections office with a completed Form 4 (Cayman Islands Election Law - 2017 revision) and the following original documents: Birth Certificate; Status Certificate or birth certificate of parent or grandparent showing they were born in Cayman, and finally an ID (passport or driving license)."
The process is as follows – applications are submitted on a quarterly basis before a three month “cooling off” period, after which the voters list from the previous registration deadline is added to the official register of electors. After this time, my son will be able to go to the elections office, have his photograph taken and receive his voter registration card. He will officially be on the electoral roll and able to vote"
The next and final opportunity to register in time for the May 2021 General Election is 20th January. So, get out and get counted!
You can still ensure that you fulfill your responsibility and duty to vote even if residing overseas. Per Section 90 (1) of the Cayman Islands Constitution Order (2009) persons are only eligible to vote providing they have not been out of the country for longer than two years. If you are a student overseas, you can register to vote during your school holidays and if you are working overseas you can register prior to relocating.