The roller coaster ride of the national ID cards

National ID card layout
National ID card layout

The Electoral Commission has made it clear that the much touted national ID cards will take at least two years to fully implement and will not be used in the upcoming general election.

The issuance of the cards has been a matter of great discussion which has been drawn along political lines.

It has been a long running contention between the government and opposition parties in Dominica.

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

The Dominica Freedom Party (DFP) has also questioned the issuance of the cards by the Electoral Commission asking under what Act it has the authority to do so.

Leader of the DFP, Michael Astaphan, has pointed out that the Election Act gives the Electoral Commission the sole responsibility of printing and issuing voter’s ID cards and not national multi purpose ID cards.

On the other hand, the government has made it clear that a national ID card is the way to go, arguing that voter ID cards will be too expensive for the country.

Speaking on the radio talk show ‘The Heng’, in 2011, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said he believes that the initial cost of issuing voter ID cards would be US$2.089-million, not accounting for the management and implementation of the system.

Thus, he argued, it would be better to issue national ID cards instead of the voter ID cards, which would only serve a single purpose.

He further stated that at “the OECS level, there is talk of the introduction of an OECS wide-card and one would be able to use one’s National ID card [to travel between OECS countries].”

During the same Heng program Skerrit mentioned, for the first time, that the aim of the government is to have the national ID cards ready for use in the next general election, constitutionally due in 2015.

The story of the multi purpose card got jucier when health minister, Julius Timothy, told a Dominica Labour Party rally on March 12, 2013 that 100,000 of the cards could be made available to Dominicans by the end of 2013.

He said Cabinet had given the commitment to provide US$96,000 for the issuance of the first 100,000 cards.

This was in addition to a US$3.14 million contract awarded to 3M Innovative Properties to provide multipurpose ID cards to Dominicans.

“Based on the project plan, the electoral commission will begin to issue identification cards before the end of this year. So our national ID cards will be ready and issued,” Timothy said.

But the latest figures by the Electoral Office show that number of those enrolled for the cards is a far cry from the 100,000 as said by Timothy.

According to the figures just 3,900 has been enrolled for the cards so far.

In a statement on Monday the Electoral Commission said it will take approximately two years for for implementation and will not be used for election, “unless it was satisfied that each person who is entitled to vote had the reasonable opportunity of being enrolled and issued a card.”

 

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27 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    June 26, 2014

    When I applied for my Passport (on three occasions) I was asked to present a “recent” copy of my Birth Certificate. When I registered with Social Security I was asked to present a “recent” copy of my Birth Certificate. I could not tell the difference between any of them hard as I tried. To register for the National ID Card I must again present a “recent” copy of my Birth Certificate despite my possession of both a Passport and Social Security Card. Could someone please explain the ageing process of the Birth Certificate?

  2. Anonymous
    June 26, 2014

    When I applied for my Passport (on three occasions) I was asked to present a “recent” copy of my Birth Certificate. When I registered with Social Security I was asked to present a “recent” copy of my Birth Certificate. I could not tell the difference between any of them hard as I tried. To register for the National ID Card I must again present a “recent” copy of my Birth Certificate. Could someone please explain the ageing process of the Birth Certificate?

  3. Francisco Telemaque
    June 25, 2014

    Small Man; the following is my response for responding to the garbage you wrote in the quote below which got you riled up, like a child with an undeveloped brain, throwing a tantrum. Anybody who has been in the Village of Marigot over the past twenty years would have to be blind not to see all the village roads need repair. If you knew what you were talking about you would have realized someone tried to cross a raging gutter, during a rain storm, in Marigot, and got washed away, never to be seen to this day, all because the Labor Party refused to build a small bridge over the crossing. You are an idiot, based on your comments in the following tells me that you are an idiot; singing for your dinner, I do not have to do that. Praise God!

    Now read my response to you again improve on my diction, and use of the English language, when you through, use your findings to go out and tie a hangman’s noose around your neck, do not try to get me down to your level guy, you are beneath me.(FET).

    Francisco Telemaque June 23, 2014
    “But I see a government with limited resources, having a lot to do and cannot afford it. Marigot is fortunate to have good roads via the central forest reserve, via Portsmouth and yet another via the Kalinago Territory. The upgraded airport is in the Marigot constituency.” (Stout Man).

    I do not believe you are in Dominica, if you were; your sentiments as quoted above would be much different. You may be correct to suggest that government resources are limited, however; our government does not operate as a government with limited resources okay!

    Any government which spends half a billion dollars on what you term the upgrading of the Melville Hall Airport has proved the individual ministers in that government are totally incompetent; hence, we have a failed government.

    Anybody with commonsense would have used half of a billion dollars to build an new international airport; rather than spending it in such a wasteful manner on the advise of a foreigner who told this present Labor Party government that Dominica does not need an International Airport; nevertheless, the same advisor, in the person of Ralph Gonzales, after advising, Dominica Government, and made a total fool of the people we have in our government, went home to his island of St. Vincent, and build an International Airport for his nation.

    I do not get your concept, it is almost impossible to understand what you conveyed, but I will reiterate that the problem is not only the Roads in the village of Marigot. By now I am sure that you have heard that the hospital is closed, nevertheless, the Prime Minister of Dominica, prefers to give away five ($500,000.00) hundred thousand dollars to the richest religious organization in the world the Roman Catholic Church. One would imagine that the health of the people who that hospital was built to serve more than a hundred years ago would have taken precedence over political pandering.

    Not only that the Secondary School in Wesley built by the UWP more than fourteen years ago is incomplete, it was part of the International Airport project. No need to remind you that the International Airport was in the first phase of development when the Labor Party government shut it down, so to claim that they improve the airport, certainly should be out of the equation!

    A government must have priorities, and giving money to a so called bishop, in order to get him to promote a political party, and influence people to vote for that political party should not be one of the government priorities! I do not know what your intentions are; however, I can tell you the actions of our government is simply; and has always been conspicuous.

    Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

  4. GWADAMAN
    June 25, 2014

    Let me put my gwen sel, only a blind rat can’t see that this is bull, the idea is not to have this card ready for election, because its a while this crd has been promised,and all of a sudden it will take two more years before it is ready?believe me i am a labour supporter but i believe they start taking us for fools, this nonsense must finish,why talk about 100,000cards when we only have less that 70,000 people in the country, give me a break and go gool a blind rat because i smell one

  5. June 25, 2014

    All the commission needs to do is give a three month eadline to all interested voters just as Inland Revenue does. So who wants to vote will meet the deadline and ensure they register. After that there will be sufficient time to register persons who turn 18 right before the elections.

  6. ArAb
    June 25, 2014

    I would really like to know what exactly makes this whole process 2 million plus US. No matter how i calculate based on my experience i get less than $300,000 US. But let us say that i am wrong and there are cost that i over looked such as shipping, database management, programming, machinery, staffing, customs duty, etc still not more than $600,000 with someone pocketing some money which is expected.

  7. ATKINSON
    June 25, 2014

    maybe the labour/government/ skeritt, should have given that $500,000.00 dollars towards the Implement of the I.D cards instead of, towards the church. :mrgreen:

  8. Anonymous
    June 24, 2014

    What is wrong with our Electoral Office? How many people work in the department? Don’t they have or know about computers? Some countries have immuneration every election, you get a list for your area before the actual election, where to vote and you have to show two pieces of ID – they check you on the day to verify you are the right person and you vote. And the numbers are many times more than Dominica’s 70,000. Their systems are more complicated than Dominica’s. All this within the SIX weeks before the day of election. Shame on these people who would want us to believe it takes two years.

  9. Voice
    June 24, 2014

    All I am saying to those public officers who we have entrusted the management of our country to and who mock this privilege by their actions…time is longer than rope…..

  10. Doc. Love
    June 24, 2014

    According to Mr. Lennox Linton, this zarsiemouzie will not work. UWP Team Dominica made recommendations over five years ago for I.D. cards for voting, nothing was done. No sooner Skeritt recommended National I.D. cards which could be used for voting, the Electoral Commission prance into action. With no apologies, Dominicans are told they will have to wait another two years for the implication of the National I.D. cards. We cannot blame people like Alleyn and Blessing when they say, Skeritt is god of all he surveys. National ID cards or Voter ID cards, the time has come when Skeritt must say adios amigos.

  11. SOLSOL
    June 24, 2014

    To the persons responsible for the implementation of these cards…
    The voter ID card is the best way forward in order to have a clean election. It has one purpose , yes, but that’s the point. A National ID Card is not necessary because our Passports, Driver’s License, Social Security Cards are all National IDs.
    But then again… a corrupt Government will do anything to get non nationals, and other persons not elegible to vote to do so, just to win.

    • SOLSOL
      June 24, 2014

      Eligible*

  12. grell
    June 24, 2014

    The corrupt state of Dominica,Antigua got this done in a timel manner,just before election.The elctoral group in Dominica is being controlled by the labour party,so it will remain the same.Skerro you wont be in power forever.

  13. Lougaoo mem
    June 24, 2014

    I may sound like a broken record, but who are the people they think they’re fooling?

    I’m sick and disgust with all their conflicting utterances, wondering if they don’t feel bad later after reading the things they say. They’ve got so things to say that they’re confused, their supporters confused too.

    There’s more to the national ID card than the eyes can see. Over 100,000 for a population of 70,000 says a great deal about what’s happening. Just remember the Lougaoo told you that your sovereignty and democracy is slipping away right in your eyes, yet you are silent about it.

  14. UWP?
    June 24, 2014

    Thats for Grand Bay Yard-fowl.

  15. FORKIT
    June 24, 2014

    time will tell

  16. Francisco Telemaque
    June 24, 2014

    “The Electoral Commission has made it clear that the much touted national ID cards will take at least two years to fully implement and will not be used in the upcoming general election.”

    You people are mad!

    Every Dominican with commonsense should be asking why at this point! I personally attribute that to total backwardness. We live in an era of computers, and high speed technology, I have a ordinary printer in my house, which could develop and print a million such ID cards in one day.

    There are less than seventy thousand people in Dominica, and cannot print seventy thousand ID cards in one month? Something is wrong, it is not all that technical nor difficult.

    It is ridiculous for someone to conclude it will take longer than two years to implement such a simple program: big deal! Everything in Dominica must present a problem, simply because they do not want to have it done. In this case they believe if they allow people to have ID’s prior to election, it will eliminate voter fraud, and the Labor Party will loose the election.

    What will be; will be!

    When people are tired of suffering, self interest usually takes precedence over partisan politics. Even the diehard Labor Party supporters are fleeing Dominica, I can name a permanent citizen of our country in his late seventy’s who has left Dominica for good, I also know someone who went to school with me, who is leaving next month to reside here permanently. If Dominica was doing all that well, as they claim, these people in their old age would not be cutting out of the country.

    Normally when people leaves their country when they are young, by the time they get to retirement age, they most likely return to their birth place, in Dominica we find the opposite, the very old are leaving. The question is why?

    We all knows the answer!

    Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

    • Sout Man
      June 25, 2014

      Horrible English partner! You pose as a grammar police and a master of Her Majesty’s language, yet it appears as though your 4 colleges did not offer English as a core requirement in pursuing your 4 degrees.

      Check this! “…a ordinary”, “…will loose the election”, “…people leaves”, “…we all knows”. WTF!!

      • Francisco Telemaque
        June 25, 2014

        Well, man it is okay for you to talk about grammar, but unless you have the knowledge, and courage to point out the wrong use of words, and why you believe my English is substandard; you are not serving any useful purpose.

        If I use the word could instead of can, there is a reason why I chose the word could!

        I can take care of myself grammatically; can you?

        And so, I challenge you to point out the grammar error (s), and let us debate them, tell me why you believe the English language is beyond me. And by the way if you wish to prove my ability to express myself efficiently in the use of the English language; pay me to write, and judge the difference!

        Pick the mote out of your own eye, before you worry about the mote in my eyes. And since you commented on my academic achievement, I challenge you to try to earn at least one scientific degree, in the disciplines which I studied. Let us see if you are half way capable, as I am and capable of accomplishing what I have accomplished academically.

        This is a challenge to you: How many degrees do you have, and in what discipline? What is your profession, you know mine!

        Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

      • Francisco Telemaque
        June 25, 2014

        Check this! “…a ordinary”, “…will loose the election”, “…people leaves”, “…we all knows”. WTF!!

        Baloney; you see how silly you are, making a fool of yourself trying to play smart. What is the great difference if one said an ordinary, or say “a ordinary?” What is wrong about saying he, she, or you will loose the election? People denotes more the one, hence leave or leaves makes no difference, because one may say ” the ship leaves port at five o’clock!, as for “we all knows” the “s” must have got in there accidentally, as for the piece of garbage WTF, I do not know what that is because I did not write that.

        You are angry because of the rubbish you wrote regarding something via, Portsmouth, and Carib reserve to which I responded and said I do not believe you are in Dominica. If you reside in Dominica, I suggest you are a bewildered person singing for your dinner. Whatever you quoted above are nothing more than mere trivialities.

        Read back the garbage you wrote, of which more than one person commented on; simply because your comments made no sense whatsoever, that is what you should worry about, because even what you chose to highlight to humiliate me proves that you are not a scholastically educated person.

        I mean you know how to read kindergarten stuff, but I do not rate you as someone who even went to secondary school. Do not try to insult my intelligence guy, because you will loose every time. I can draw academic circles around you; from which you will not be able to escape.

        I can mesmerized your mind with the English language if I care to; careful now!

        Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

      • Sout Man
        June 26, 2014

        Francisco, the word is lose; not loose. You have done that repeatedly, which indicates that you do not know the proper usage of loose. “Leaves” and “knows” are used with the singular form of the subject, except for I and you singular. You have been using “an” incorrectly most of the time. When it is needed for words beginning with a vowel, you use “a” instead; as in “a ordinary”. I pointed out these errors and you still didn’t figure it out. You are so conceited and arrogant, believing that you are always right.

        I do not comment on other people’s grammar, but you have made it your business to belittle our educational level; calling us dunce and idiots. You even degrade those doing domestic work. They are the ones on the frontline fighting germs and diseases in your bathroom and kitchen. I do not tout my horn about my educational degrees. I’m not that vain. History will be the judge. Those who read my comments can detect that I’ve gone beyond 7th grade. Chew on that and eat mud.

  17. Grand Bay Yard-fowl
    June 24, 2014

    Ko-ki-yo-ko!!!

    That maybe a good thing. Remember the Almighty works in mysterious ways. It behooves every citizen to vote this government out of office before they totally destroy every institution and fabric in our democracy.

    You have to be blind, super selfish and greedy in order to support what’s taking place in the country. Here in Sout City I hardly could find grains of corn to eat, can’t make ends meet, but they want me to vote Labour. I rather sing my Ko-ki-yo-ko all day.

    • Anonymous
      June 24, 2014

      Imposter I am sure you are not from grandbay

    • UWP?
      June 24, 2014

      My brother is a hard workingman. He supports his children and maintains his home in addition to assisting his mother. He isn’t getting a dime from the government but says that he will vote this Govt. because that is the right thing to do for this country. He gave me several reasons why he would and not the opposition. I know that he isn’t blind and you will not see him out or vocally supporting and political party. How does that make him greedy or super selfish?

      You got a right to your opinion and that’s what is great about Dominica, Freedom of Speech; something lacking in so many countries today. But that doesn’t give you the right to insult anyone who has a different opinion than you or support a political party other than yours. It actually show how low class you are and your willing to force your way on people. I thought that is a sign of dictatorship. There are educated people out there waiting to choose a political party but you gabbage will just push them from your party.

    • Face the Facts
      June 24, 2014

      As always they blame the government for their predicament. You complain about making ends meet. Maybe you could tell us if you are godly, worship God, go to church, pray and not only for yourself and perform acts of generosity in Jesus Name. We have to do something to get something and to be progressive and successful.

    • listener
      June 25, 2014

      @ Grand bay yard foul , I hope you are not sitting on the block in Larlay and expect manna to fall from heaven!

    • eh heh
      June 26, 2014

      plz bear in mind a fowl has no brain so im nt surprised stps!!! Labour Power zor kay toufehhh

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