ECJ is not selling Voters’ Data
–and is categorically denying the false claims being made by the Gleaner writer
KINGSTON, Jamaica; The Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) is dismayed by the article posted in the Sunday Gleaner dated March 27, 2022 with the erroneous headline ECJ selling voters’ data, and is categorically denying the false claims being made by the Gleaner writer.
The ECJ/Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) does not sell access nor has it granted access to the elector registration voter identification database which includes electors’ biometric and demographic information. The EOJ has created an extract of the identification card database for the purpose of ID verification that is granted to mainly Government Regulated Institutions.
This database utilized by these entities, of electors’ voter ID card information, assists with authentication of voter ID cards which are required by these entities to be presented by the elector who owns the card, and therefore necessitates authorization which requires the verification of the information of the EOJ identification service.
The EOJ voter ID card which is regarded as the National ID card and is widely used across the country for opening bank accounts, collecting remittances and facilitating access to loans at a number of entities, like many other forms of identification in Jamaica, requires corroboration by the responsible organization which houses and maintains such a database, who in this context is the EOJ/ ECJ as mandated by the Representation of the People’s Act (ROPA), from those using the voter ID card.
The fee that is charged to these institutions in need of verifying electors’ card information is the actual cost for maintenance of this replica database and not a scheme for the ECJ/EOJ to be profiteering from the personal information of its stakeholders.
The process of an elector presenting his or her card to an entity, indicating to the entity that this is a genuine EOJ voter ID card issued by the EOJ requires these entities to do the necessary verification of the card. This verification process can only be accessed by these entities with the card holders’ unique identification number represented on each voter ID card.
The Electoral Commission of Jamaica wants to assure all electors that it prides itself highly on its integrity and professionalism as the responsible entity in maintaining the country’s voters list and would not do anything to prejudice the trust that it has developed as a national institution in Jamaica. We remain committed to the implementation of free and fair elections in Jamaica and to the protection of all electors’ data, ensuring the identity of each elector.