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Dominican bill would modernize national ID, aid electoral reform

Dominican bill would modernize national ID, aid electoral reform

A proposal for national ID cards to be used during elections in the Commonwealth of Dominica has been included in electoral reform legislation.

The lead advisor for the electoral reform project, Sir Dennis Byron, told a recent gathering that he added the proposal to the draft text during a commissioned review, but that it will require amendments to existing laws to ensure distribution of cards.

Byron said this is one of five major recommendations he has made to the electoral reform texts, according to a video of his presentation during the event.

Byron, who submitted the final report of his review in June, alluded to a survey which suggested most Dominicans have expressed a preference for a multipurpose national ID.

He explained that it will take legislation to create a modern ID that meets many of the ID needs of citizens and align with current identity management standards.

“I’ve incorporated provisions in the draft bill for the issuance of national identity cards [for elections]; however, this will necessitate additional legislation for the proper issue, administration and distribution of these ID cards,” said Byron.

“One of the rationales is that individuals not eligible to be on the register of electors, for example due to their age, should also have access to a national ID card. It is my hope that this recommendation will be implemented as swiftly as possible,” he added.

Byron also explained the pertinence of the reform process, saying it is necessary for improving the way elections are conducted in the Caribbean country.

In the meantime, Loop News reports that public consultations on the electoral reforms will run August 14 to 28.

The consultations, which will include stakeholders in the electoral process, will take place in two phases, with the focus first on the Regulation of Electors Bill 2023 and the Registration of Electors Bill 2023. Phase two targets four other pieces of legislation.

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