by Linda Straker
- All cards issued between 2012 and 2019 become expired on 31 January 2020
- Almost 80,000 persons are currently registered on the Voters List
There is no deadline for registered voters to be re-issued with new voter cards when the Parliamentary Elections Office (PEO) begins the process on 1 February 2020.
Due to a software glitz at the time of developing the new electronic fingerprint system, all voting cards issued between 2012 and 2019 will expire on 31 January 2020. The software was developed by 3M, a Canadian company that is no longer in operation.
Following the relevant approval of amendments to the Representation of the People Act, the new fingerprint system came into effect in 2012 during the reign of the Tillman Thomas administration when Judy Benoit was the Supervisor of Election.
Ferdinand Phillip, Civic and Education Officer at the PEO said that as of 1 February, persons with all the pre-requisite documents can visit the relevant sub-parliamentary office in each constituency to apply for a new card. “There is no deadline for when the process will end but it will commence on 1 February,” he said, explaining that persons can use the opportunity to update their information in the system.
In a news conference last week Friday, Michael Millette, System Administrator said that persons who would have changed constituency or names through marriage and other legal means can present the updated information to the Returning Officer at the constituency office.
Grenada has an ongoing registration system and almost 80,000 persons are currently registered on the Voters List, some of whom are deceased.
Millette said that a name on the list will only be removed when all the necessary legal steps are taken — included a legal directive from the Births and Death office — to have the name expunged from the list. Once the re-issued application is processed, a new card will be issued in two weeks.
When questioned as to what impact the re-issuing of cards could have if an election was called before completion, Phillip said that all eligible voters in the system will be allowed to vote. “The names of all registered voters are already in the system. What we are doing is re-issuing a card that contains an expiry date,” he explained.
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