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Jan 31, 2017

Will Voters’ ID’s Go the Way of the Dinosaur?

Kareem Musa

The voter’s identification card carries none of the shine of the passport, or Social Security card or driver’s license. Indeed, its sole use seems to be to identify a voter on Election Day. But that may soon be a thing of the past if the Elections and Boundaries Commission has its way. The Commission is also considering abolishing the issuance and use of voter identification cards and solely relying on the Elections and Boundaries Department’s binders to identify voters coming to vote. According to Kareem Musa, any such decision would be retrograde and risks increased instances of voter fraud, including tampering with the Commission’s binders, and possibly denying lawful voters their right to vote.


Kareem Musa, Deputy Leader, P.U.P.

“What they are saying is that when a voter goes into the voting room, instead of presenting a card, what the Commission is suggesting is that you go look through a binder and look for that individual in a binder. Not only is that time-consuming, but it is totally retrograde. In this day and age, when we should be aiming to improve the security of our electoral process, to improve the legitimacy of our electoral process, to see that we are now taking a giant leap backwards in history and eliminating the voters’ I.D. card, which is your primary source of identification, and the binder is your secondary source. So if there’s any question when a voter comes into a room and presents his I.D. card, then you can cross-check it with the binder and so there is that built-in check and balance mechanism. Now what they want to do is completely remove the voter’s I.D. and just rely on a binder, and who controls the binder? The Government of the day! So that is another scary thought. There can be manipulation; there can be tampering; there can be voters that come and say they want to vote and they say ‘No, no, you are not in this binder.’ But had they had their I.D. card, they could challenge and say no, and so they would have been able to vote. And so this in my opinion is completely retrograde, it is backward, and we condemn it wholly.”


The party will consult with its members on the Commission on the way forward.

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