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Postal ballot numbers lag

 

Carol Winker

Thursday 7th April, 2005   Posted: 15:14 CIT   (20:14 GMT)

Only 183 voters have applied for postal ballots, although general elections are now less than five weeks away.

Election officials are concerned that people may be waiting to apply. If they wait too long, their ballots may not get returned in time to count. Officials especially appealed to students and other voters overseas.

Deputy Supervisor of Elections Orrett Connor disclosed the number of postal ballots sent out so far, district by district.

He also revealed that a number of applications for postal ballots in one district have been returned to voters. Mr. Connor said it was obvious that someone had assisted the applicants in filling out the application form.

Assistance may be given, but person giving it must fill out a declaration form saying so. That form comes with the application, so filling it out is not difficult.

The voters who had their applications returned can still apply and the persons assisting can still fill out the declaration, Mr. Connor said. “They can correct the defect.

“All of this is simply to preserve the integrity of the application process so that those persons who are assisting someone are held responsible.”

According to statistics kept by the Elections Office, 730 postal ballots were sent out in the 2000 general elections. The number sent out so far for this election is just 25 percent of that total.

For West Bay, 205 postal ballots were issued in 2000; the count so far is 69.

In George Town, 199 postal ballots were issued last time; the count so far is 34.

For Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, 137 voters had postal ballots issued in 2000. So far this year, 24 have been issued.

Election officials have pointed out that voters residing in Little Cayman have the option of applying for postal ballots or voting in person at West End, Cayman Brac.

For Bodden Town, 118 postal ballots were issued in 2000; the count so far this year is 30.

North Side’s total in 2000 was 44; the number issued to date this year is 20.

East End had 27 postal ballots issued in 2000. This year the count is six.

Application forms

The absolute last date for receipt of applications for postal ballots is Friday, 29 April. But this does allow much time for receipt and return, especially from overseas.

Application forms may be obtained from the district registering officer. Forms may also be downloaded from the Elections Office website at www.electionsoffice.ky

The application can be filled out and faxed to the Elections Office at 949–0631.

If the application is being made locally by someone who will be overseas on Election Day, the office will require a copy of the applicant’s travel itinerary or ticket or some evidence to show the voter will be off island.

If the application is made by a registered voter who is overseas, the fax number itself will be sufficient indication.

Mr. Connor reminded everyone that candidates and agents are not to be involved in applications for postal ballots.

Anyone with questions or complaints may call the Elections Office at 949–8047.

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