Jamaica can print Guyanese ID cards but fingerprint cross-matching will not be timely

Last Updated on Tuesday, 3 September 2019, 10:19 by Writer

The Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) has said it would be unable to cross-match the fingerprints of the more than 370,000 persons in a timely manner, but will be prepared to produce national identification cards for Guyanese, a senior official of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) said Monday.

The source said top EOJ officials made known their positions to Deputy Chief Elections Officer, Roxanne Myers and the Information Technology Manager of GECOM.

According to the source, GECOM has since learned that the California, United States (US)-headquartered Cogent Systems, Inc. can cross-match the fingerprints in less than one month.

The official said GECOM’s equipment to manufacture identification cards locally was no longer working, and so a decision was taken to ensure that Cogent Systems is available.

Myers was Tuesday due to brief Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield, and the seven-member commission about her findings.

President David Granger is reportedly anxious to call general elections as early as December, 2019 especially since the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has ruled his administration as a “caretaker“.

With the 2019 National Budget set to expire on December 31, government will be unable to spend billions on new projects if elections are not held before.

General and regional administration council elections were due to be held the latest by August 2020, but were delayed pending GECOM’s state of readiness. The election timeframe has been brought forward as a result of the passage of last December’s no-confidence motion.