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Polls Close with Few Hitches

With the close of polls at 6:00pm on Wednesday, 20 May, the casting of ballots in the Cayman Islands General Election and National Referendum concluded with few incidents.

Most notable were a few reports of possible attempts to influence voters. Outlining the incidents, Supervisor of Elections Kearney Gomez said these involved the George Town Central and the Prospect polling divisions.

The confusion arose when some independent booths which were set up outside the official 300-foot boundary were mistaken for the Elections Office booths housing official field officers.

"Some electors were under the impression that on approaching the respective polling division they were required to visit these private booths to find out where to vote," said Mr Gomez.

Instead, the official booths were actually located inside the 300-foot exclusion area, where officers directed voters to the appropriate polling station and also assisted the sick, elderly, and others needing assistance.

It is alleged that some voters at the George Town Primary School polling division visited a private booth, where they were given business card-sized cards imprinted with the names of certain candidates. This activity was subsequently reported to elections officials and the RCIPS.

While it is not unlawful to set up a private booth outside the exclusion zone, or to possess a copy of the Register of Electors, the publication and sharing of items with candidates' names is not allowed on Election Day.

Deputy Supervisor of Elections Orrett Connor said that once the possibility for confusion was recognised, Elections Officials set up an adjacent official booth outside the exclusion zone to assist and guide voters.

Similar complaints were received on two occasions in relation to the Prospect polling division, with the Supervisor and Deputy Supervisor of Elections responding to the reports.

While there have been no arrests in relation to these incidents, the RCIPS was alerted, and is carrying out preliminary enquiries and awaiting legal advice, and guidance from the Elections Office.

(GIS)

For further information contact: Lennon Christian