Report from the Elections Office
Schedule 1: Report Of The Elections Office To Constitutional Review Commissioners
Proposal to introduce Single Member Constituencies
Based upon instructions provided by the Constitutional Review Commissioners and the Elections Office working in conjunction with Government's Land Information System (LIS) office a plan has been produced for the fragmenting of the three islands' current 6 electoral districts into 17 easily identifiable constituencies containing approximately 426 electors in sparsely populated areas, to 983 in the more densely populated districts.
Extensive use was made of the Elections Office's database in addressing the demographic Information System was utilized. The Commissioners advised at the outset that in the interest of equity and proportional representation all constituencies should contain approximately 700 electors where possible. This was the benchmark used in this exercise, but due to the demographics of the Islands it was not possible to maintain that average. This was particularly the case in the smaller districts of North Side, East End and Cayman Brac/Little Cayman.
The Elections Office, working with a Senior Cartographer from Lands and Survey, was able to develop a plan of the 17 constituencies utilizing easily identifiable geographical features, which is essential to ensure against confusing the electorate when planning elections. In essence what has developed is a comprehensive plan, taking into account geographics as well as demographics, interlinked with the current Register of Electors.
The Elections Office, in order to be as transparent as possible to the terms of reference of the Commissioners developed the following list of names for the 17 constituencies -
- West Bay North West
- West Bay Central
- West Bay North East
- West Bay South
- George Town North
- George Town East
- George Town South
- George Town West
- Red Bay/Prospect
- Savannah/Lower Valley
- Bodden Town Central
- Pease Bay/Breakers
- North Side
- East End
- Cayman Brac West/Little Cayman
- Cayman Brac East
The Elections Office is currently guided by Sections 5-6 of the Elections Law (2000 Revision) insofar as electoral districts are concerned. The Supervisor of Elections, with the Governor's approval, has over the past 2 decades divided the larger electoral districts into more manageable polling divisions in order to better accommodate the electorate particularly from a proximity perspective. The electorate has become quite familiar with several polling divisions and Elector's Registration Cards have been developed utilizing these divisions. Based on this concept the Elections Office embarked on this exercise and as can be seen from the plan only limited deviation was necessary in order to meet the objective of the Commissioners.
A schedule to the draft proposed Constitution has been compiled as directed by the Commissioners and accompanies this report, which includes grid references revised to comply with the boundaries of the new constituencies.
There is considerable flexibility built in to this exercise to accommodate demographic shifts. It should be noted that the proposal as outlined can be effected with minimal effort once adopted to the requisite amendments made to existing legislation. It is interesting to note that Section 5 (2) of the Elections Law (2000 Revision) also provides for the number of rep resentatives for each electoral district, which means that the whole exercise could be effected without changing the Constitution.
This report has been compiled by the following officers of the Elections Office and has been done in strictest confidence with the assistance of Government's Senior Cartographer Mr. John Bebb.
Dated this 20th day of February 2002.