ECJ Extends Validity of Voter ID Cards

KINGSTON, JAMAICA – The Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) has extended the validity of the Elector Registration Identification card (Voter ID) for a period of two years. This means that ID cards which were originally set to expire on December 31, 2017 will be valid until December 31, 2019.

During this period, the ECJ will continue to accept and process applications for voter registration and the voters’ list are expected to the published as usual. Other ID card services such as replacements and corrections will also continue to be processed.

The ECJ is appealing to institutions that require the Voter ID cards, such as banks and other private sector and public sector entities, to continue accepting the existing cards until the new 2019 expiration date.  It is anticipated that a new enumeration or re-validation of elector data will be completed in the interim.

The ECJ is presently carrying out due diligence in relation to the methodology and the technology to be used. The device being considered for use in the exercise is expected to capture fingerprints, photographs and facial scans in addition to the demographic information for each elector. This device also uses GPS technology to map the individual’s location at the time of registration to aid in the residence verification process. The devices are being carefully considered to ensure value for money as the device selected should be able to be used in future elections to identify electors at polling stations using their fingerprints.

The exercise is expected to commence sometime in 2018 and to last for approximately two years. In extending the life of the current cards for two years, the ECJ is seeking to ensure it does not have to further extend the life of the current card. Instead, if the new cards become available before December 2019, they will be phased in and the existing cards phased out.

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