Slow collection of voter ID cards

There has been slow response to the call by the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC) for people to collect their voters’ identification card.

Elisa Graham, ABEC’s public relations officer, told OBSERVER media yesterday that people are slowly responding to the appeal to collect their card at their respective registration office. Graham said she anticipates more people will be collecting their cards once the list of uncollected cards is published.

She is also advising voters not to wait until the last minute, after the date for the next election is announced before rushing to obtain their cards. “Persons are calling and coming to check to see if they are among the group of people who cannot find their cards, but, we would encourage persons to come in more.

The various constituencies have different numbers and we have not really calculated all but the St. George constituency, which is one of the largest, have over 150,” she said. In 2017, ABEC made an appeal for newly registered voters to collect their identification card. She noted that there is a separate list of voters who would have misplaced their cards or had them stolen.

The PRO said for those, who would have suffered a loss of their card through theft, they are advised to report the matter to the nearest police station and the report can be used to replace the card free of charge.

Should a voter misplace their card, a fee of $100 is applied for the replacement, which would take upwards of 4 weeks to prepare. “From my understanding of speaking with some of the registration officers, it is a case where calls have been made to persons, maybe they would have moved or changed their number, or they would have just forgotten to come for their cards, but, we all know that when it gets close to election time then persons will remember,” she added.

The next general election is constitutionally due in 2019 and Graham noted that she would want all voters to be prepared for the polls when the election date is announced.

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