The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) yesterday announced that it has taken the decision to decommission all National Identification Cards issued before October 2009.
“The effective date of the decommissioning will be November 1, 2011. Consequently, all ID cards issued before October, 2009 will not be valid for electoral purposes at general and regional, and local government elections,” GECOM said in a statement, in which it also noted that it is still in possession of 30,000 new cards for persons registered since 2008.
The decision was unanimously made at GECOM’s August 16, 2011 statutory meeting. GECOM added that in view of the decision, ID cards (“red” and “green”) that were issued before October, 2009, will not be accepted as a means of identification for voting at the upcoming elections. It further said these cards will have no relationship with the Official List of Electors to be produced for the upcoming polls.
According to GECOM, since 2007, it had advised that citizens needed to be registered during the 2008 House-to-House Registration exercise, and during the subsequent Continuous Registration and Claims and Objections exercises.
Further, GECOM said it had repeatedly published notices in the print and electronic media informing the public of “this decommissioning eventuality,” while also emphasising “that it is absolutely urgent for persons who have not collected their new ID cards as yet to do so immediately.”
GECOM noted that it is still in possession of approximately 30,000 new ID cards for persons registered during the 2008 House-to-House Registration exercise, during the Claims and Objections exercise for local government elections (January-February, 2010), and during the 2nd Cycle of Continuous Registration (September-December, 2010).
Meanwhile, it said it has commenced the distribution of ID cards produced for persons who were registered during both phases of the recent Claims and Objections exercise. It said cards can be collected from the respective GECOM permanent Registration Offices across Guyana on Mondays to Fridays during normal working hours.