While there will be a mechanism to bring additional scrutiny to persons who did not uplift their National Identification (ID) cards from 2008, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is yet to decide what shape or form this method will take.
The Chairperson of the Commission, Justice (Retired) Claudette Singh, confirmed that there will be a mechanism in place, however, the commission is mulling several options.
“There will be a mechanism, but I cannot say at the moment how that will be done, but we have to have greater scrutiny to those people who come without an ID card to ensure that they’re registered and we are yet to decide how we will do it,” she said.
When reminded that the ID card is not the only document required to vote, Justice Singh deferred the question to the Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield, who noted that the full commission will be needed to deliberate on the way forward.
Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Yolanda Ward, informed the media that over 17,000 cards are yet to be uplifted from the various registration offices throughout the country.
GECOM would have published the names of persons who did not uplift their cards between the period of 2008 and 2018. Some 18,398 names were published, and to date, only 949 were uplifted. This translates to 17,449 yet to be collected.
Ward provided a breakdown by region to the media this morning. The following data was provided:
|Region||Names Published||Cards Uplifted|
Ward advised persons to visit the registration offices in their area to uplift their cards within the “shortest possible time”.
This development comes even as GECOM Commissioners share opposing views on the matter.
Just yesterday, opposition-nominated Commissioner, Sase Gunraj, said that no alternative has been proffered, since the commission embarked on a review of its previous decision to put those names on a separate list to serve as a supplemental of the Official List of Electors (OLE).
The commissioner is of the belief that there is no need for any mechanism to “flag” those persons for failure to uplift their ID cards.
His views differ from those expressed by government-nominated Commissioner, Vincent Alexander, who, while recognizing that a supplemental list might result in confusion, is advocating for alternative measures to ensure that those persons are subject to additional scrutiny.