The Parliamentary Elections Office in Grenada will commence the process to re-issue thousands of voter identification cards on Monday, 3 February 2020 and at the same time will continue registering all persons who are registering for the first time.
The re-issuance must be done because of a glitch in the computer programme used when Grenada began using the electronic format of registration in 2012. All cards issued through that system have an automatic expiry date of 31 January 2020.
In a news conference held in early January, Supervisor of Elections, Elvis Morain, said that consideration has been given to amending the Representation of the People Act, because there was no guidance on handling the expired card. He further explained that because of the expiry date all the cards will be treated as lost or stolen, so that all registered persons can be re-issued with a card.
Under normal circumstances, replacing a lost or stolen card will cost EC$20 but this mass re-issuing will be free to all registered persons. Government has allocated EC$695,000 for the exercise that is required to issue almost 80,000 cards.
A news release issued by the Parliamentary Elections Office (PEO) on Wednesday, 29 January 2020 said that upon detailed examination of the Representation of the People Act, it is clear that there is no need for any amendments to facilitate the replacement of Voter Identification Cards.
“The Parliamentary Elections Office (PEO) has been legally advised that the act does not stipulate that Voter Identification Cards will expire on any given date. Therefore, expiration dates are a matter for administration of the Voter Identification Card system,” said the release which informed all registered persons that the PEO has decided to proceed with the process of replacement of expired cards in keeping with the intent of the act.
“Replacement of expired voter identification cards commences on Monday, 3 February 2020 at the respective Parliamentary Elections Offices within the hours of 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday,” the release said.
A registered elector is required to present his/her expired card, birth certificate or valid passport when making such an application. An applicant is expected to have his/her photograph taken; have his/her fingerprint scanned and renew his/her signature.
“The PEO encourages applicants with changes in their registration information to use this opportunity to update their information at no cost,” the release advised.