A sample of the multipurpose card

A sample of the multipurpose card

Government plans to issue multipurpose ID cards to Dominicans are expected to get underway today.

Acting chief elections officer, Anita Rodney, said enrollment will begin with public officers and the exercise will be more like a test.

“For now we are going to do a test with public officers,” she said.

She said based on the test, the electoral office will get an idea when to invite the general public for enrollment.

To be enrolled, individuals should bring in a pictorial ID such as a social security card, passport or driver’s license, and at least a birth certificate or marriage certificate, where applicable.

The electoral commission said on Monday that the electronic system is intended to produce the card which is expected to provide one common identification in Dominica and other for OECS countries to identify individuals among different systems.

“For example, one ID card could be used for voting, identifying an individual at hospitals, civil registries, social security, customs, banks, telephone companies and supermarkets to name a few,” the commission said in a release.

It said it is a regional identification system that is being developed by the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) as part of the Electronic Government for Regional Integration Project.

All citizens of Dominica and permanent and temporary residents are entitled to a card but must be enrolled under the system. Permanent and temporary residents should provide a copy of the resident or work permit as applicable, on enrollment.

“The Commission has determined that eligible persons of eighteen years and older will be the first to be enrolled with younger persons to be included at a later date,” the release stated.

In August, it was announced that the machine for making the cards had arrived on the island and government’s share of purchasing the equipment was US$785,000 and that they had also provided US$96,000 for the first 100,000 cards, which will be free.

A total of US$3.14-million contract was awarded to 3M Innovative Properties to provide multipurpose ID cards to Dominicans.

The idea of multipurpose ID cards for voting has been heavily criticized by the opposition United Workers Party (UWP) which has argued for voter ID cards instead.

The UWP based its argument on the fact that voter ID cards were recommended by the chief election officer in a 2009 report and an OAS observer mission to Dominica.