Election wheels begin to turn as Governor issues writs to officers
His Excellency the Governor, Martyn Roper, issued writs to 19 Returning Officers, setting the stage for conducting the General Election in May 2021, on Wednesday 9 December at the Elections Office in Bay Town Plaza. All the officers were assembled around a long table. One-at-a-time they came forward to receive their official writ, a formal document which authorizes them to carry out the business of conducting elections in each of Cayman’s 19 electoral districts. Senior elections officials including Elections Supervisor Wesley Howell, were there to witness the ceremony,
With almost five months to go before Election Day, the Governor presented the writs to the Returning Officers and Deputy Returning Officers in the presence of senior Elections Office officials, including Supervisor Wesley Howell.
Mr. Roper said, “This is the first Cayman Islands General Election during my tenure as Governor. It is of historical significance given the recent constitutional amendments as the first General Election where voters are electing Members of Parliament. The metaphorical starting gun has now been fired for May 2021’s election,”
“The Cayman Islands Elections Office has a proud history of conducting well run Elections that are free and fair, in line with international best practice. These elections will build further on that record. The role of the Returning Officers and Deputy Returning Officers is crucial. I thank them for their outstanding service to our communities.” Addressing the Returning Officers Mr. Roper said, “Thank you all very much its really nice to come and say hello to you, and the very best of luck.”
Returning Officers are responsible for the organisation and conduct of elections in their respective districts. Writs are the documents the Governor issues to the Returning Officers commanding them to conduct an election in accordance with Section 28(2) of the Elections Law (2017 Revision).
In accordance with the 2021 General Elections Programme, Nomination Day will be held on Wednesday, March 31, 2021. The General Elections is to be held in the 19 electoral districts on Wednesday, 26 May 2021. The writs will be returned to the Governor following the election with the name of the candidate who has been elected to serve in that electoral district.
Ida Ebanks, Returning Officer for the District of Red Bay said, “This is my second term as returning officer for Red Bay and I did six elections prior to that. I am in charge of the district of Red Bay and on polling day I am in command of that station, so that I Make sure the polling division is open on time and everybody and the electors are able to come and cast their votes in an orderly fashion, and everything goes according to the law.”
Delano Solomon has been doing the vital work of a returning officer since 1976. “I feel we have done something very valuable. Cayman is a democracy and we feel that we need people who are honest, and fair, and who can get along with everybody. We try to be above board with everything.” Mr. Solomon added that throughout his 44 years’ service, he has never experienced any kind of political interference. “That is what we are so excited about – we don’t get involved with that kind of thing.” He said.
“First we deal with the nominations, then we deal with the postal ballots, mobile voting, and then we deal with the Elections Day. We do the count, and we certify the results for that count.
Elections Supervisor, Mr. Howell said, “This is actually a critical aspect of the elections process, because by law these folks need to be appointed in order to carry out their duties, and each of the Returning Officers are responsible for the election in their respectful electoral district, so it’s a very key role in the process of a general election.”
The COVID 19 vaccines have arrived. Will you take the Vaccine?