At the top of the news we told you about the PUP’s hedging towards a No to the ICJ vote in the upcoming April Referendum. This coincides with the re-registration process which commenced on July 2, 2018 and it is now on its final lap. Persons who have not registered as yet can still do so by visiting the Election and Boundaries Office by March 10. Josephine Tamai, Chief Elections Officer, said that re-registration exercise goes through a process which includes it being finalized by the courts. Tamai added that this was done in December and she also reviewed the percentage of the voters who have now re-registered.
Josephine Tamai, Chief Elections Officer: “We’re still basically at approximately sixty-five percent but this sixty-five percent that I’m talking about are people that were eligible to get on the register. We had some persons who registered in more than one division, you can only register once so those persons were disallowed in the other divisions. We had persons who we could not verify that they were Belizean nationals because as I mentioned it is a process that we go through and we need to verify with either the Immigration Department or Vital Statistics to see if those persons are Belizeans. So again for those who we could not verify those persons were not allowed and their names were not on the list. We had a period where we made an appeal to the public to go into the office, go to the centers to check that your name is on the voter’s list, I want to use this opportunity to make an appeal to persons to still go into the offices and check your names. We have cases whereby some persons are registered probably in their maiden name or in their mother’s name because the official documentation from Vital Stats those are the information that we use.
Tamai said that the voter’s I.D. cards will be available later this month and went on to say why there has been a delay in making them available.
Josephine Tamai, Chief Elections Officer: “When it comes to the ID cards persons will recall that when they went in to make their applications they were verbally informed that the ID cards would be ready sometime around the month of December. Unfortunately, at this point, we are still procuring some of the supplies for us to get the ID cards. We want to ensure that the ID cards that we issue are ID cards that are enhanced they are no longer the laminated ID cards, they have security features in them. We want to make sure that different organizations actually accept these ID cards as valid identification cards apart from being a voter’s ID card. So we are still waiting to see when some of the supplies will be able to reach us; we are hoping that it should be in the next couple weeks and that’s the reason we decided to send out a press release because what we find is that several people are coming in to ask for their ID cards because people want their ID cards. Like I mentioned the process just concluded in December so we could not have been able to print ID cards even before then but in terms of the supplies we should be getting the supplies any time soon and hopefully by the end of this month we should have a large portion of the cards already printed. One of the other things that we want to ensure before we put out an announcement to say ‘pick up your ID cards.’ is to ensure that we have ID cards for most persons if not all because once we put out an announcement to say we have the ID cards ready we want for everybody to be able to go in and pick up those ID cards.”
People must collect their own I.D. card which the department says will be enhanced with new security features.