Electoral Commission receives over $6-million for voter ID, cleansing of elector’s list

The Electoral Commission of Dominica has announced that it now has at its disposal $6,130,350 to fund the necessary infrastructure for the introduction of identification cards, the effective verification of the identity of voters and the sanitation of the list of electors.

The funds were requested by the Commission and the government has recently approved it.

“For more than 30 years, successive Electoral Commissions and Chief Elections Officers, have sought approval for the financing required to enable the implementation of voter identification cards and the cleansing of the voters’ list, both seen as imperative for the enhancement of the electoral process in Dominica,” the Commission said in a release.

The funds will go towards the purchase of equipment and the hiring and training of personnel for the implementation of the identification card system, as well as the provision of other equipment and staff necessary to aid the process.

“The Commission has begun the recruitment of about 15 young persons who, subject to the passage of the enabling legislation, will be engaged as enrolment officers, as part of the process of enrolling new electors and confirming those registered electors, who are eligible to remain on the electors list in accordance with the law,” the release said.

The release added, “The Electoral Office has in the last several months, worked closely with the Legal Affairs Department, in ensuring that proposed revisions to the House of Assembly Elections Act and the Registration of Elections Act and accompanying Regulations, are effective in introducing adequate procedures for the implementation of the identification system and cards. This follows several months of review of the proposed bills by the Electoral Commission, in accordance with its constitutional mandate.”

The Commission also announced that Pearl Fontaine-Butler has been appointed as its new Press/Public Education Officer.

“This appointment comes as the Commission prepares to commence its public education campaign, to inform the Dominican public about the proposed national identification system and the manner in which its introduction is expected to enhance the electoral process and consequently, democracy in the Commonwealth of Dominica,” the release noted. “Members of the public will have the opportunity to fully appreciate what is being proposed and to air their views in free and open exchanges. The Commission looks forward to the participation of all stakeholders.”

The release stated that both the Electoral Commission and the Electoral Office remain “committed to improving the electoral process and to working towards the continued delivery of credible elections which meet the highest international standards and the expression of the free will of the Dominica electorate.”

The matter of ID cards for elections has been a long-running contention between the government and opposition parties in Dominica.

The government preferred national ID cards as opposed to voter ID cards, arguing that voter ID cards will be too expensive for the country.

The United Workers Party (UWP) has been adamant that voter ID cards, as opposed to national ID cards, are necessary since it was recommended both by the Chief Elections Officer in a report in 2009 and an OAS observer mission to Dominica.

Furthermore, according to the UWP, voter ID cards will help “clean up the voter’s list” and make “voters of this country independent.”

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37 Comments

  1. getto yout
    June 25, 2017

    How did they come up with this amount, $6 million dollars? a Chinese company could do that for $1 million. waste of state resources. everything for them fellas is millioooonnnnssss.

  2. Malgraysa
    June 23, 2017

    “We recognise the inalienable right of individuals to participate in democratic processes, in particular through FREE and FAIR elections in shaping the society in which they live”
    Governments, political parties and civil society are responsible for upholding and promoting democratic culture and practices and are accountable to the public in this regard…

    (from the Commonwealth Charter, with the compliments of Baroness Scotland 16 May, 2017)

    Dominica is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and signatory to this Charter.

  3. Let The Truth Be Known - Original
    June 22, 2017

    The PM is correct about the National ID Card.
    Is this Voter’s ID card a permanent card or only used once for voting? If once, this card should be kept when the voter goes to vote and is verified as the correct person.
    If it is temporary, this is the reason why the PM stated it will be expensive.
    National ID cards should be used. Voters would still have to bring two pieces of documents as identification and proof of residence. These should correspond with the names on the voter’s list. Those whose names are not on the voter’s list are obviously not entitled to vote.

  4. Mr.Prolific
    June 22, 2017

    Mr. Shillingford! Any one who come to me direct needs help and this is what I am good at, helping other people. Grade one, it could have been worst. In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is a King. If you pay attention to Bello’s you could see everybody is trapped. The money would be better spent relieving them from stress. Certain customer mention ,the law cannot be changed because of people’s behaviour. If I had to interviewed you, I am not sure you would get a pass. This money is better spent on the people on the lower level.

  5. Just Thinking
    June 22, 2017

    To quote,One smells a rat.?The project is essential to bring TRUE democracy to Dominica.BUT we will employ 15 young persons to enable this project (NEP) Were is the essential hands on supervision for the young people?
    For a population of 70,000 maybe 20,000 eligible voters ? It appears to be a huge cost basis.
    Taken into account previous announcements by the government on this issue. Lots of unanswered questions?
    .

  6. Natute
    June 22, 2017

    We need our voter ID card and not no national ID card…we can use our driver license n social security card as national ID already…stop the cheating of the election..

  7. %
    June 22, 2017

    Remember that this DLP government is the most deceptive,incompetent,brutal and wicked in the region,and arguably the Commonwealth..We, concerned Dominicans need to follow their every step..I still believe they have MANY DIRTY TRICKS,to come up with before the next general election.Remember since 2000,we have not had a fair election on island..Just check the report of the Commonwealth team of observers re the 2014 election.I am available at short notice to have “”MY BOOTS ON THE GROUND””‘,demanding for fair election from these evil men and women,any time that i am called upon..They should also be internationally exposed.
    SKERRIT MUST GO!
    SKERRIT MUST GO!
    SKERRIT MUST GO NOW!

  8. KiD ON THE BLOCK
    June 22, 2017

    They must find something negative to say! Their DNA is to oppose. They even oppose their own. They asked for it and so they have it. What’s next?

    • John Paul
      June 23, 2017

      Skeritt must go next

    • concern citizen
      June 25, 2017

      KiD on the block,
      dear all SKERRIT must go
      SKERRIT shall surly go
      and SKERRIT must go now
      Whether Kid on the block like it or not SKERRIT will have to go

  9. June 22, 2017

    Dominicans we don\’t like Linton but if it wasn\’t for him a lot of the things we get to know about we would still be in the dark , yet we are not greatful people we behave like fouls. I don\’t agree with some of his comments but that\’s what democracy is all about agree to disagree but that man is putting himself out there for all to see , he\’s fighting hard for keeping Dominica moving so we can fee ourselves from negative to positive just the way it should be. Some of you believe because he\’s from Marigot that shouldn\’t be well that village have some wonderful people some of them are my friends, so it shouldn\’t be where he\’s from , he puts the people before and he also want to make Dominica great and that\’s good new for every one especially for the young people, so everything that is wrong and going wrong in Dominica cannot be Mr. Linton and if so something is definitely wrong.
    Dominicans lets come together and see how we can get the Island moving again…

    • My 2 Cents
      June 23, 2017

      The info is out there. Always has been. If you have to wait for Linton to give you into, an wrong info at that, the problem is obviously with you. As a citizen of Dominica on a daily basis find your info yourself and from proper source and make sure it’s fact not the constant fake news that’s created by UWP. Get with the program. Wisen up.

      • concern citizen
        June 25, 2017

        Dear my 2 cents,
        thanks for UR. comments but the news which LENNOX GIVES are as fake as the news of the FIRE of 2010 CHRISTMAS morning, so the 2 elderly citizens are still waiting for justice, so U better go and tell those ARSONIST to go and REPORT them selves to the FBI

  10. June 22, 2017

    Dominicans we don’t like Linton but if it wasn’t for him a lot of the things we get to know about we would still be in the dark , yet we are not greatful people we behave like fouls. I don’t agree with some of his comments but that’s what democracy is all about agree to disagree but that man is putting himself out there for all to see , he’s fighting hard for keeping Dominica moving so we can fee ourselves from negative to positive just the way it should be. Some of you believe because he’s from Marigot that shouldn’t be well that village have some wonderful people some of them are my friends, so it shouldn’t be where he’s from , he puts the people before and he also want to make Dominica great and that’s good new for every one especially for the young people, so everything that is wrong and going wrong in Dominica cannot be Mr. Linton and if so something is definitely wrong.
    Dominicans lets come together and see how we can get the Island moving again right now we are at…

  11. HOODY
    June 22, 2017

    Pure sugar coating. Those tricksters will continue to cheat every election

  12. sandy
    June 22, 2017

    well done voters advocate let press on to much election fraud .Let this be a level playing field to much fraud hand pick of labourite in the diapora to vote in constuiences they know they cant win without the help diaporia voters

    • My 2 Cents
      June 23, 2017

      It’s the politics UWP introduced to Dominica. Don’t complain now because allu brokes and no sensible person following you all or will give you all money any more.

  13. CUMMBYEYA
    June 22, 2017

    good ay

  14. Malgraysa
    June 22, 2017

    This story does not add up.
    – on 9 July 2013 GIS informed us that the electoral commission planned to start ID cards in Oct. of that year. A full image of such an OECS ID card (back & front) accompanied their press release.
    -on 30 Oct. 213 DOM. Vibes reported that govt. had already spent over $2.4 million on the necessary equipment for the commission and that funds had been provided by the World Bank.
    – on 16 March of 2016 P.M. Skerrit, during a public meeting at the Baracoon building in Roseau announced that govt. had approved $1.6 million for this same project.
    That adds up to a total of over $4 million up to that date. Where does this new $6 million expenditure come in, given that the Commission is already supposed to have the necessary equipment and stock of blank cards since 2013?

  15. June 22, 2017

    Interesting news. I hope that everyone across the board will welcome this. I know the opposition has a tendency to reject and disagree even when things are going how they want it. I’d like to hear/read their thoughts on this.

    • Let The Truth Be Known - Original
      June 22, 2017

      These people do not compromise nor cooperate. They want it their demanding way. As if they are the Prime Minister.

    • My 2 Cents
      June 23, 2017

      The opposition as usual. They were crying as usual for something, using it to get pity and favor from the small percentage of the population that’s illiterate but wasn’t expecting the government to go ahead with it. Now they realize the government IS going ahead with what they were asking for and they no longer have it as an excuse to cry and get pity they doing what they do best, opposing it. Imagine opposing what they asked for now. Dominicans please wisen up. Stop making a team of lazy, illiterate, unemployed fools play you all for fools. Use your heads

    • John Paul
      June 23, 2017

      You cannot believe anything from this Admin .the Chonology of events leading up to this release does not make any sense

  16. June 22, 2017

    Awesome developments.

    • Anomymous
      June 22, 2017

      What do you mean, at least four years they are talking about this already but no action.

  17. SN
    June 22, 2017

    I hope only voter ID cards will result from this and not national ID cards. Leave national ID cards to the traffic department or the registry and voter ID cards to the electoral commission.

  18. Mr.Prolific
    June 22, 2017

    What a waste of money. The people have already defined this so very well. All mop heads are UWP AND CLEAN AND NATURAL ARE DLP. you SEE THIS At RALLIES and meetings, if fact any gatherings.

    • Mr. Shillingford
      June 22, 2017

      Mr. Prolific,

      You need to return to grade one to understand basic thought and delivery.

      Best, Shillingford

  19. Claudia Rabess
    June 22, 2017

    The ID card is a good idea; why not combine the card for both purposes as an ID and for electoral purposes. Also can be use as social security identification. Rather than spending separate money for different cards. This will help the country on it expenses.

    • Venezuela Sorry
      June 22, 2017

      This card should only be used for voting purposes. We already have a social security card and our passport which are National ID cards. This card should only be used for voting and there are reasons for that. Good news.

    • UK Dominican
      June 25, 2017

      Claudia , aren’t you one of the directors of DUKA? Talking about wasting money, what happened to that development of all yours at Dublanc. Not very healthy is it?

  20. LifeandDeath
    June 22, 2017

    I’m surprised that money didn’t come from the CBI..

  21. FORKIT
    June 22, 2017

    enbeh, lennox and de report again… revelation have them passing de CBI monies….

    • Truth Knowledge
      June 22, 2017

      So unfortunate that people like you make yourselves so blind, if not foolish. It takes much longer period than that from the “Lennox and the report again…revelation” as you put it for this kind of money to be found fFor a single project. The arrangements for the provision of this amount of funds was obviously well underway before any ‘revelation’.

      • Dominican
        June 22, 2017

        Truth, you have to inform yourself properly. Te money for this was made available to us by the World Bank more than four years ago. Now Skerrit is presenting it again as a new thing because he has to give account to the OECS countries the week after next to show that at least he is up to scratch with integration on this one. The others are way ahead of us.

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