by Linda Straker
- Parliamentary Elections Office will be re-issuing voter identification cards
- Voter identification cards issued in 2012 or 2019 expire 31 January 2020
- Other information embedded within cannot be seen by simply looking at the card
The Parliamentary Elections Office said that it will be re-issuing voter identification cards to all registered voters, because the electronic system adopted during the 2012 enumeration year gave every card an expiry date of 31 January 2020.
“We are aware that cards will be expiring in January 2020 and we have already agreed that every registered voter card will be re-issued. We will soon announce the starting date for re-issuing,” said Elvis Morain, Supervisor of Elections. He explained that the re-issuing period will also be used to update personal information in the system before a card is printed.
“Some people may have changed location of residence, changed names through marriage or other legal means, or changed profession. We will request that these people provide proof of these changes so that the information in the system will be updated,” he said.
According to the People’s Representation Act, an eligible voter is someone 18 years or older, who must present proof of citizenship through birth or naturalisation. The 2012 enumeration was the first time that fingerprint scanning digital equipment was used to process voter registration cards. Besides name, surname, sex, height, any distinguishing marks, date of birth and country of birth, the card also contains a registration number, a document number and a date of issue.
There is other information embedded within the card that cannot be seen by simply looking at the card.
“All cards issued, whether in 2012 or 2019 have the same expiry date of 31 January 2020. This is something that was installed in the original programme for printing the cards, and it is something we have to rectify for the new cards,” Morain said.
Parliament gave approval for the election office to adopt the new format and the legislation to legalise the new digital system received approval during the last quarter of 2011. At the time the country was governed by the Tillman Thomas-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration.
Morain said that Grenada’s law now provides for continuous registration, and from 2012 to 2019 there are presently a little more than 80,000 registered voters.
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