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WB Elections Officials Change

Election Supervisor Wesley Howell (centre) at the hand-over of office from former Elections Registering Officer for West Bay Ms Darlene Owens-Elliott (left) to new West Bay Elections Registering Officer Ms Bethany Powery-Ebanks.

Elections Office veteran of 20 years, Ms Darlene Owens-Elliott has handed over as West Bay Registering Officer to Ms Bethany Powery-Ebanks.

The new Registering Officer Ms Powery-Ebanks can be reached at 516-4402.

At the handover at Elections Office in Smith Road Centre on Smith Road, Supervisor of Elections Wesley Howell gratefully acknowledged the meticulous service that Ms Owens-Elliott provided over the past of two decades to the electoral process and the voters of West Bay district.

"Her thoroughness and keen attention to detail raised the quality of the work she provided to the community to the highest standards," Mr. Howell commented. "Thank you Ms Darlene for all your efforts and work over the years. You have provided exceptional service to your community," he added.

Welcoming the new Registering Officer, Supervisor Howell said he was sure that Ms Powery-Ebanks would provide equally exemplary service to all the voters for the new West Bay electoral districts. These will come into force for May 2017 General Elections which will introduce "one person, one vote" to the Cayman Islands.

Mr. Howell added that he expects all six of the Elections Office's Registering Officers to be busy once the door to door enumeration of voters starts from Saturday, 27 August 2016 and over 160 enumerators will visit all buildings in the Cayman Islands to update the Voters Registration list.

Sidebar: Ms Darlene Owens-Elliott

Former Registering Officer for West Bay, Ms Darlene Owens-Elliott reflected on her rich and varied experience over 20 years with the Elections Office. She took on this responsibility upon retiring from the Immigration Department after 25 years of service as a Senior Immigration Officer.

Never balking at providing service, Ms Owens- Elliott says it was customary for her to receive election workers even after 11 pm, when they brought her the forms they collected from persons seeking registration as voters, during previous door to door exercises.

Another notable incident that stands out for her is when an election worker brought in 21 applications for postal ballots giving one Post Office Box as the address for all. So she refused the applications and reported the matter to the Elections Supervisor who called a meeting where he warned candidates and their committee members not to use one postal box for more than one postal ballot. Shortly after elections that year, the Elections Law was changed, she recalled. However, she takes her history making actions in her district completely in stride!

As registering officer, she ensured that the deceased persons' names as well as names of persons declared of unsound mind by the Chief Medical Officer are removed and new successful applicants' names are included in the electors list.

She always strove to make the registering process as smooth as possible yet adhered strictly to the requirements of the law. Keeping a close watch on the electors, she generally was aware in the past when people moved out of the district, which necessitated removing them from the district list of voters. Every week in every quarter, she diligently followed up about deaths, persons imprisoned for over 12 months as well as those moving to live in another district.

So as an officer who took her responsibilities "very seriously", Ms Owens-Elliott decided not to continue in her public office due to health issues. However, she has assured the office that she will continue to be available to the new West Bay Registering Officer Bethany Powery-Ebanks as necessary.

"My years with the Elections Office provided a great learning experience. I enjoyed the work very much and am going to miss my co-workers. But my health is deteriorating and we need younger blood in the office now," she commented.


For further information contact: Bina Mani