Categorized | News, Regional

Electoral Commission wants election laws updated

ROSEAU, Dominica, Sept 1, CMC – Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Gerald Burton, is calling for a revision of the electoral laws here as the Commission has started a series of Town Hall meetings to educate Dominicans on plans to issue national identification cards for voting.

“The laws which govern the elections in Dominica date back to 1951 and 1974 with limited change,” he said, noting that “generations have passed since then and Dominica and the rest of the world have since significant change.

card ID“It is inevitable that the conduct of so significant a process as elections ought to undergo a review and an effort to bring it into the modern era. Those citizens and legislators who discussed and passed the statutes in 1951 and 1974 undoubtedly did so with their own circumstances in mind,” Burton said.

He said over the years “those who have had responsibility for the Commonwealth of Dominica elections have recognised the need for modernisation so as to keep pace with our changing communities and the way our people live.

“Therefore as far back as the 1980s successive electoral commissions and chief election officers have recorded the need for an improvement in the system by which voters are accurately identified and the voters list updated.”

Burton said that requests have been made repeatedly for the funding “which would make possible the introduction of such a system and the issuance of identification cards to voters.

“In almost every other Commonwealth Caribbean and the vast majority of our Latin American neighbours updated elections legislation have been in place and the requirements for identification cards for voting made mandatory,” Burton said.

In March, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said EC$$1.6 million (One Ec dollar =US$0.37 cents) had been approved for the Electoral Office for the design and development of a biometric ID management system to provide for National ID cards.

In 2011, Skerrit speaking on a radio programme here had promised that the national identification cards would be in place for the 2015 general elections.

In August last year, Opposition Leader Lennox Linton wrote to the Electoral Commission urging electoral reform recalling that in  2013 it was consulted on the revision of the electoral laws to facilitate voter re-registration and the utilization of voter ID cards.

He said then that “all ID Cards for voting must be issued by the Commission exclusively in Dominica” and urged the “Commission to determine the enabling legislative amendments that will be necessary to facilitate mandatory voting with ID cards and complete the issuing of voter ID cards by the end of the first quarter of 2017”.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

ROSEAU, Dominica, Sept 1, CMC – Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Gerald Burton, is calling for a revision of the electoral laws here as the Commission has started a series of Town Hall meetings to educate Dominicans on plans to issue national identification cards for voting.

“The laws which govern the elections in Dominica date back to 1951 and 1974 with limited change,” he said, noting that “generations have passed since then and Dominica and the rest of the world have since significant change.

card ID“It is inevitable that the conduct of so significant a process as elections ought to undergo a review and an effort to bring it into the modern era. Those citizens and legislators who discussed and passed the statutes in 1951 and 1974 undoubtedly did so with their own circumstances in mind,” Burton said.

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He said over the years “those who have had responsibility for the Commonwealth of Dominica elections have recognised the need for modernisation so as to keep pace with our changing communities and the way our people live.

“Therefore as far back as the 1980s successive electoral commissions and chief election officers have recorded the need for an improvement in the system by which voters are accurately identified and the voters list updated.”

Burton said that requests have been made repeatedly for the funding “which would make possible the introduction of such a system and the issuance of identification cards to voters.

“In almost every other Commonwealth Caribbean and the vast majority of our Latin American neighbours updated elections legislation have been in place and the requirements for identification cards for voting made mandatory,” Burton said.

In March, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said EC$$1.6 million (One Ec dollar =US$0.37 cents) had been approved for the Electoral Office for the design and development of a biometric ID management system to provide for National ID cards.

In 2011, Skerrit speaking on a radio programme here had promised that the national identification cards would be in place for the 2015 general elections.

In August last year, Opposition Leader Lennox Linton wrote to the Electoral Commission urging electoral reform recalling that in  2013 it was consulted on the revision of the electoral laws to facilitate voter re-registration and the utilization of voter ID cards.

He said then that “all ID Cards for voting must be issued by the Commission exclusively in Dominica” and urged the “Commission to determine the enabling legislative amendments that will be necessary to facilitate mandatory voting with ID cards and complete the issuing of voter ID cards by the end of the first quarter of 2017”.