A review of the electoral process in Dominica has been the subject of discussions for some time now.
The Government of Dominica has repeatedly indicated its support for the improvement of the conduct of elections and is committed to ensuring that the necessary funding, as well as the legislative and technical infrastructure are in place, to enable the Commission to carry out its constitutional mandate.
As all are aware, the Electoral Office had been working for some time on the implementation of a Multi-Purpose ID Card which would not only be used for voting in an election, but which could serve other uses as well. The Electoral Office subsequently informed that due to technical difficulties encountered they would be moving to a new system.
Upon request by the Commission through the President, the Cabinet promptly gave its approval in February, to the request of the Electoral Commission for EC$1,505,163.00, for the funding of a new National Identification System, which would allow for the enrolment of all eligible electors and the issuance to them of a National Identification Card. This was to ensure that a suitable identification card system is put in place in sufficient time for use in any future general elections.
Government also committed to making available whatever additional resources were needed by the Commission for the implementation process. A request for those resources has since been submitted and is being favourably considered.
In addition to approving the requisite funding for the ID card system, the Attorney General’s office has been working with the Electoral Office, to ensure the timely submission to Parliament of draft Bills to give effect to the implementation of the ID card system and other changes. This will be ready to be presented at the next sitting of Parliament.
After the last general election held in 2014, the Commonwealth offered its assistance to Dominica to improve our electoral process. A request was made to them for support and technical assistance to enhance the capacity of the Electoral Office and review and strengthen its policies.
In light of this, the Commonwealth sent a two member Mission to Dominica in November 2016 to carry out an initial assessment. That team has returned here to carry out a further assessment and have stakeholder consultations. While we have moved ahead with implementing reforms we will take into consideration any suggestions made by the Commonwealth team.
Government is pleased that the confirmation and registration process that will be undertaken when the ID Card system is being effected will not disenfranchise legitimate voters but will ensure that the voters list will be revised and a more secure system put in place for the conduct of our elections.
Source: ST Lucia News Online