Tue | Jun 28, 2022
GRENADA

Only Parliamentary Electoral Office-issued ID cards will be allowed during voting

Published:Thursday | June 23, 2022 | 12:08 AM

ST GEORGE’S (CMC):

The Parliamentary Electoral Office (PEO) on Wednesday said the only form of identification that will be allowed during today’s general election is the voter identification card it has issued.

This as the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) alleges “countless inaccuracies” in the recently published voters’ list.

The NDC, which is one of five political parties contesting today’s general election, has been “strongly” recommending to supporters that they should bring with them their “national ID card, voter registration card or passport to the polls”.

But in a statement, the PEO said “that the only form of identification that shall be presented on election day is the voter identification card issued by the Parliamentary Elections Office.

“Any elector who holds an expired identification card with an expiry date: January 31st, 2020, can present such card when requested to present his or her voter identification card.

“The PEO wishes to assure the public that all voter identification cards have been processed and are ready for collection. Registered voters who have not collected their cards are asked to do so in person before election day to avoid delay on polling day.”

OVER 87,000 REGISTERED TO VOTE

The PEO had earlier this week announced that 87,506 people had been registered to vote today. Voting will take place between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. (local time) at the 285 polling stations. Police officers voted on Monday.

The NDC had also indicated that it was forced to strengthen its legal team “following countless inaccuracies spotted on the recently published final electoral list.

“Despite numerous legitimate objections raised by the NDC during the time prescribed by the constitution, the final list remains bloated and significantly suspect,” the party said, adding that it raised “several factual and legitimate objections and requested the removal of ineligible names from the electoral list”.

The NDC said these include the “names of Grenadians who have passed away over four years ago; people who are unknown in the villages, where it is verified that no such person lives; males who are registered as females; and many other valid objections.

“Moreover, hundreds of voters have not yet been issued their voter registration cards,” the party said, with the general election taking place today, “these legitimate objections accepted by the Parliamentary Elections Office (PEO) have not been corrected in the final list”.

But the PEO said a registered voter, “who is unable to produce his/her voter identification card, shall be given a ballot paper once he/she satisfies the presiding officer “that he or she has not been issued with an identification card; or that he or she has been issued with an identification card which is lost or destroyed.

“The public is advised that your official source of election information is the PEO, therefore you are asked to be guided accordingly”.

Meanwhile, the ruling New National Party (NNP) said that voters whose names are on the list “have a right to vote in general elections.

“The rules are consistent in that regard. An ID card issued by the Parliamentary Elections Office will make the process smoother and faster, and you are encouraged to bring along one if you do have one – even an expired one.

“But you cannot be stopped from voting – even without an ID card – once your name is on the list,” the NNP said, adding “any statement to the contrary, as one which was issued by one of the opposition parties in the last few hours, is only meant to cause confusion and doubt”.

The NNP said that the statements by both the NDC leader and its chairman “promoting confusion and illegality are abhorrent and desperate.

“NDC is actively promoting voter suppression. They are devising tactics to try to stop Grenadians from voting. Understanding that the NDC has no chance for victory, they are now seeking to undermine the sanctity of the electoral process. The actions of the NDC’s top leadership must be condemned by all,” the said the NNP, adding that its leader “ who himself is a lawyer ought to know better.

“The New National Party urges everyone to conduct themselves properly and follow all the rules in exercising their franchise tomorrow. Go out early tomorrow and be patient – and exercise your franchise”.