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Maldives contracts identity card design, says no digital ID for upcoming election

Maldives contracts identity card design, says no digital ID for upcoming election

The Republic of Maldives recently introduced digital ID in the country, but it will not be one of the credentials voters can use to prove their identity when they go to the polls on 9 September to choose a new president.

This is according to the Elections Commission (EC) which says that electoral law in the country does not recognize digital ID as proof of ID for voting in a presidential election. The country is also advancing towards a new, digitized version of the national ID card, awarding a design contract to local firm Encrea.

Atoll Times cites EC Vice President Ismail Habeeb as saying that efforts are being made to revise the laws in order to match them with the present realities.

In the meantime, Habeeb says the law allows for four documents to be used by voters to prove their identity at polling stations during the election. These documents include a national ID card, a passport, a passport card and a driver’s license.

A total of 283,272 voters are said to be registered for the election.

The official added that the digital ID, which is largely still in experimental use in the country, can only be used by voters in the presidential election if the law is changed to make it an official identification credential, and if the law allows for the use of mobile phones at polling booths.

National ID card goes digital

This development comes at a time when the Maldives government has also awarded a new contract for the redesign of the country’s national ID card and to make it a ‘smart card.’

The redesign contract is estimated at 200,000 Maldivian Rufiyaa (roughly US$13,000).

In another report, Atoll Times reveals that strategic design and branding company Encrea has been selected for the project which is aimed at modernizing the ID card by adding advance security features to it. Encrea is a Maldives-based design and branding studio created in 2018.

The current national ID card in the Maldives has existed for the past 39 years and the decision to remake it was taken by cabinet during a meeting in 2021.

Late last year, the Maldives introduced a digital ID mobile application dubbed eFass which enables citizens identify themselves either in-person or online using facial biometrics.

It will be available soon for download and general use.

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