(CMR) Almost one week after George Town South candidate Alric Lindsay filed an official complaint with the Election Office they have failed to even acknowledge receipt of the correspondence. CMR has learned that the international observers have made contact with Lindsay to inquire as to the progress of his report.
Lindsay raised concerns over several ballot boxes that were unaccompanied by his agents.
It appears that Supervisor of Elections Wesley Howell has spoken to the Cayman Compass about the matter but has not addressed Lindsay directly.
As previously reported, on 14 April 2021 at approximately 3:45 p.m., Phillip Barnes arrived at the George Town South polling station with at least three mobile postal ballot boxes. Those were unaccompanied by any of Lindsays' agents. Barnes stated that a police officer was present to observe the removal of the ballot boxes from a safe and that the seals were still on the ballot boxes.
Making it clear that he is not questioning the honesty of Barnes, he stands by the fact that the process is there for a reason. He noted that he “raised this question because it occurred to me that that would be the prudent thing to do and a best practice to enhance transparency and accountability”.
Today Linsay noted:
“On Election Day, I witnessed a series of events regarding the handling of mobile and postal ballot boxes. A complaint was immediately submitted to the Elections Office, Anti-Fraud Commission, and the Auditor General. On the eve of the swearing-in of the new government, no response has been provided to me. The handling of ballot boxes is a serious matter and answers must be provided rather than blatantly ignoring complaints”.
Lindsay is not the only candidate that has raised concerns to CMR about what they consider to be highly inappropriate behavior. One George Town candidate also noted that it was peculiar that the elections office did not advise them of which ballots being counted were postal/mobile. They had been told one amount going into the count and afterward, the number was entirely different and no explanation was given for that.
They also noted concerns about the Progressives busing people to the polls who were intoxicated and unaware of why they were even at the polls. One person was oversaid asking “what do I do” in Red Bay. Reports were received that even Frank Cornwall, candidate for George Town Central showed up to the polls smelling of alcohol and appearing to be intoxicated. The keen observer noted:
“I was at George Town North and Frank came to vote and you could smell the alcohol on him – from the time he opened that mouth I felt to puke”.
At the invitation of the Governor's Office, an independent team of international experts conducted a virtual election expert mission to the Cayman Islands General Election from April 6-20. The mission was to assess Cayman's general election against international standards, commitments, and obligations as well as domestic laws.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team of experts conducted the mission virtually and spoke to a number of stakeholders including the media and individual candidates via Zoom.
It is unclear what action Lindsay will now take.