New enumeration system coming

Voter ID cards now valid until December 2019

Thursday, October 12, 2017

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PEOPLE with voter identification cards that expire on December 31 will be allowed to use them for another two years, as the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) works on implementing a new enumeration or re-validation system.

News of the change came from the ECJ in a release yesterday, with the commission saying it has extended the validity of the elector registration identification card (voter ID) until December 31, 2019.

The ECJ said during this period it will continue to accept and process applications for voter registration and the voters' lists are expected to the published as usual. Other ID card services such as replacements and corrections will also continue to be processed, the release said.

Meanwhile, the ECJ is appealing to institutions that require the ID cards to continue accepting the existing cards until the new 2019 expiration date.

“It is anticipated that a new enumeration or re-validation of elector data will be completed in the interim,” the ECJ said, adding that it is presently carrying out due diligence in relation to the methodology and technology to be used.

The commission said the device being considered for use is expected to capture fingerprints, photographs and facial scans in addition to the demographic information for each elector. This device, the commission said, also uses GPS technology to map the individual's location at the time of registration to aid in the residence verification process.

“The devices are being carefully considered to ensure value for money as the device selected should be able to be used in future elections to identify electors at polling stations using their fingerprints,” the release said.

The ECJ said the exercise is expected to begin in 2018 and to last for approximately two years.

“In extending the life of the current cards for two years, the ECJ is seeking to ensure it does not have to further extend the life of the current card. Instead, if the new cards become available before December 2019, they will be phased in and the existing cards phased out,” the release said.

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