Residential requirements for candidates

| 21/11/2016

Does the candidate have to live in the area for which he is running? What happens if a district doesn’t have anyone wanting to run?

Auntie’s answer: There have been several election-related questions of late, and I expect more to come as we get closer to May 2017. I have to say I am encouraged by these questions because I am a strong believer in people exercising their right to vote. Putting aside arguments about performing one’s civic duty, at the very least look at it this way: If you don’t vote, then you really have no right to complain about the election result. And who doesn’t like being able to have a good, old-fashioned whinge on occasion?

Back to your question. A candidate is not limited to running in the district where he or she resides. The relevant answers can be found in the Cayman Islands Constitution and the Elections Law (2013), and an official with the always-helpful Elections Office kindly explained it all to me.

Here’s what he said: “A duly qualified candidate, that is a person who meets the criteria in the Cayman Islands Constitutional Order 2009 (Sections 61 and 62), can be nominated in any of the electoral districts in the Cayman Islands.” In addition, Section 29 of the Elections Law (2013) sets out the nomination procedure for anyone seeking to be a candidate.

“It is important to note that a candidate must be nominated by two persons who are registered electors in the same electoral district in which the candidate is being nominated,” he added.

The official also pointed to two MLAs who are registered in one electoral district and were nominated and elected in another. Both Arden McLean and Kurt Tibbetts live in and are registered in Bodden Town, but they represent the districts of East End and George Town, respectively.

For the second question about a district without a candidate, the governor has to get involved, the official pointed out. “The process for a vacant seat in an electoral district is to hold for the governor to issue a writ for a by-election for that electoral district,” he said, adding that this would only happen “in the very remote case that no one is nominated on Elections Day”.

If anyone has any other questions about the upcoming elections and voting, please feel free to send them to me.

The documents mentioned in this column can be found on the CNS Library

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Category: Ask Auntie

Comments (4)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I second the idea of having none of the above as an option. I think that sends a much clearer message than not showing up. I believe other countries have this in some form, whether it be None of the above or the option to leave the ballot sheet empty. I’m not sure if Cayman has this.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What makes Auntie have the pompous opinion that not voting somehow removes the right to free speech in the form of a complaint? Absolute rubbish! Voters have the right to vote for those they think fit. If one does not believe in any candidate enough to vote for them then they reserve the right to abstain. There is no one I consider worth voting for in this election and yes I will complain about government as I see fit, and exercise my right to free speech. Low voter turn out is also an indication to government and the candidates that they need to do better.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you, I fully agree that abstaining one’s vote is a valid response. Elections Office, if they are impartial, should ensure “none of the above” is a valid voting option in the voter booth in May.

      • A Nony Mouse says:

        The frequently exercised “none of the above” in Cayman is also known as a “spoiled ballot” and is fairly common. I know of several friends who wrote in Micky Mouse, Donald Duck or in one case Joseph Stalin as a protest vote instead of none of the above. It seems that in some previous elections, ANY or ALL of those would have been better choices than what we actually got!