Concerned that electoral roll contains addresses

| 04/01/2017

Why does the Elections Office publish registered voters’ names and home address on its website? Surely this is an invasion of privacy. Is it law that they must do this? If not, can they just publish the names without the address? I feel sure this fact alone would deter some people from registering.

Auntie’s answer: As is often the case, there is a very short answer to the question, which I will supplement with an explanation. So, in a word, yes, it is the law that the Elections Office must publish the names and addresses of those on the Register of Electors.

An official at the Elections Office pointed out that the Elections Law (2013 Revision) calls for the publication of the name, occupation and street address of people on the list of electors, explaining, “Public scrutiny of the list of electors is a key part of the voter eligibility verification process, particularly because the Cayman Islands does not have a national identification system which would make identifying specific persons easier.”

Towards this end, every quarter the list is published in a revised format, printed on hard copy and circulated to post offices. The list is also published on the Elections Office website. Here is the link to the list.

The Elections Law provides for the public to make any claims and/or objections to names on the list before it becomes official, which occurs once it has been approved and signed off by the revising officer, who is a magistrate. This official list is then published quarterly in hard copy and on the website.

As for your concerns, the representative acknowledged that the office has received a few similar queries about why street addresses are published and said they “will take those forward to the Cabinet for consideration for changes to the Elections Law in the future”.

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

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Category: Ask Auntie

Comments (9)

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  1. Smithy says:

    Which is the greater risk? Electoral fraud or having your address published? I take it none of these commentators are listed in the phone book.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am not in the phone book. I pay to keep it unlisted. I would have appreciated that my address with the government would be private also. At the very least require that people physically come in to look for their own address to verify current information. Rather than allowing anyone to look up any possible name.

      If potential politicians want to know the list to visit their people, then a copy of only their district can be provided for a fee.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Quit worrying, if you lived n the UK you would want your name and address on the Electoral Register….try getting credit, bank accounts, mobile phone contracts etc without being in it. 3rd world problem

  3. Anonymous says:

    Agreed. As past victims of identity theft, credit card attacks, and decades-old listings in Panama Papers, there are motivated attackers that feel justified in targeting Cayman residents. We modified our listing to the 9-1-1 address which somewhat obscures our “billing detail” from the register, but we also question the necessity of publishing this info (and occupational detail) on a database that can be easily extracted and exported for nefarious purposes. Do West African Scam Artists really have a right to this info?

  4. Anonymous says:

    where you live is not a secret

  5. Anonymous says:

    I don’t believe that this issue is stating your street address when filling out the form, for use by the elections office, however there is no need for providing it in a public list for all to see. The elections office should just state the name and which district the person can vote in.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with this suggestion, too much personal information being made public. I should not be giving up that info just because I want to vote. What happens if you have a stalker or someone who wants to know where you live.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this information we will also be sending our concerns to the Election Office. We are very conscious not to let certain people know where we live as we have been burgled in the past which we believe was targeted. I don’t think the address list should be public at all.

  7. Reluctant Citizen says:

    With the data privacy laws that they are planning to introduce in Cayman, wouldn’t the requirement of publishing addresses for the Elections Law conflict with the personal data privacy provisions being proposed?